China orders tightened Internet controls UPDATES
China has ordered Google to revamp its service immediately and remove all links to pornographic and "vulgar" material.
China said the company's filtering of pornography was too weak.
China has ordered Google to suspend its foreign Web site search service after warning that the company's filtering of pornography was too weak, state media said Friday.
Google was also ordered to revamp its service immediately and remove all links to pornographic and "vulgar" material, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Google had been previously warned about the site linking too often to pornographic and vulgar content and the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center threatened punishment from the government.
Earlier that day, a government-supported Internet watchdog group, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center, had criticized the Web site for its erotic content and threatened punishment from the government. The group had said that Google had already been warned twice, in January and April, about its content.
Google released a statement confirming that the company was working to block pornography reaching users of its Chinese service.
BEIJING (AP) — Google Inc. said Friday that it was working to block pornography reaching users of its Chinese service after a mainland watchdog found the search engine turned up large numbers of links to obscene and vulgar sites.
Google said in a statement that company officials had met government representatives "to discuss problems with the Google.cn service and its serving of pornographic images and content based on foreign language searches.
"We have been continually working to deal with pornographic content — and material that is harmful to children — on the Web in China," the statement said.
China plans to install a software called Big Brother software on every computer in China.
The software is claimed to be a porn filter designed to protect children from viewing sexual content online.
Information empowers people, and no one knows this better than China's censors. Their latest brainstorm -- to install Big Brother software on every computer in China -- is certainly ambitious. But it is ultimately a losing battle.
This newspaper broke the story of the mandatory filtering software, known as Green Dam, last week. Beijing claims the software -- the name is a pun on "to filter" in Chinese -- is a simple porn filter designed to protect children from viewing sexual content online. "The government . . . regulates the Internet according to law so as to safeguard the interests of the public and prevent the spread of harmful content," a spokesman said last week.
The software may cause problems for foreign companies that install the software since they face fallout if it makes their computers malfunction and could also have to deal with a possible PR hit back home.
Whatever the software's provenance, the advent of Green Dam creates a dilemma for foreign companies invested in China. Computer makers that install the program face fallout if it makes their computers malfunction and could also have to deal with a possible PR hit back home. Those that don't could be penalized by the Chinese government, which hasn't yet laid out clear guidelines.
California company alleged that an Internet-filtering program being pushed by the Chinese government contains stolen portions of the company's software.
The company, Solid Oak Software Inc., said it will try to stop PC makers from shipping computers with the software.
Solid Oak said Friday that it found pieces of its CyberSitter filtering software in the Chinese program, including a list of terms to be blocked, instructions for updating the software, and an old news bulletin promoting CyberSitter. Researchers at the University of Michigan who have been studying the Chinese program also said they found components of CyberSitter, including the blacklist of terms.
As the Chinese government restricts access to controversial Web sites in the runup to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, the country's Web surfers are finding creative ways around the censors. Companies that offer technologies for viewing blocked sites and hiding online communications say they have seen a spike in demand over the past month.
Global Web Security creates software to encrypt e-mail so that the identities of sender and recipient are hidden from others.
Web surfers are also finding ways to view forbidden sites. One way is to use proxy-server software, which masks the Internet Protocol (IP) address of blocked Web sites.
China on Thursday issued new rules that ban online videos which they say can harm China's image. The government released a notice on their main website of the rules which ban videos showing scenes that "instigate hatred between ethnic groups" or "maliciously disparage" the nation's police or armed forces.
The rules were issued just two weeks after footage of police allegedly beating Tibetan monks circulated on the Web.
BEIJING, April 2, 2009 (AFP) - China issued new rules Thursday cracking down on the posting of "harmful" political or religious videos online, two weeks after footage of police allegedly beating Tibetan monks circulated on the Web.
The rules ban online videos that harm national stability, "instigate hatred between ethnic groups" or "maliciously disparage" the nation's police or armed forces, a notice on the government's main website said.