Posted by: John Savageau in china, censorship on
Jun 30, 2009
Possibly due to international pressure, possibly due to the fact it probably simply wouldn't work, China has made a decision to delay the deadline for companies to install the controversial "Green Dam" software in all new computers sold in the country. The software package, formally called "Green Dam Youth Escort," was promoted by the Chinese government as a utility to protect Chinese citizens from being exposed to pornography.
However, once the package was released to manufacturers and testing organizations it quickly became apparent the software had other features, including filtering words and topics deemed too sensitive for Internet users. Those topics include phrases like "Falun Gong," and "7/4 (a reference to the Tianamen Square Massacre)." If a user typed sensitive phrases into a browser search window, Green Dam would immediately close the browser window denying the user access to both the browser and content.
Other content being requested resulted in POP UP screens announcing the content is "harmful" to web viewers.
Internet censorship is control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet. (Wikipedia)
Attempts to censor Internet content have been around for years. In the good old days of the US Internet we had a lot of innovative censorship ideas including the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and the "clipper chip." In recent years we've added additional utilities demanded by the Children's Internet Protection Act and Online Predators Act.
It is not only the United States. Many countries around the world restrict Internet access for a variety of reasons, both political and to prevent access to "indecent" materials.
It was a clear, very beautiful morning in Sydney. Mike brought the Pitts biplane up to about 4,500ft, and you could literally reach out and touch the mountains from the open cockpit and passenger seat. I came close to better appreciating the words of the classic poem that is understood by pilots, and very few others;
Mike Lagunowitsch, the pilot, a friend, and former colleague at Sprint Australia and Sprint China, is one of the few people I know who can really step away from the job, and escape into complete indulgence in life. Then almost like flipping a switch he returns to being one of the most enthusiastic, aggressive visionairies in the telecommunications industry.
Savageau: Mike, what are you doing these days? Been a long time since we had a chance to catch up.