China's controversial web filtering software could affect US shipments of PCs to the country after claims that the code uses stolen intellectual property from American firm Solid Oak Software.Following an anonymous tip off on Thursday Solid Oak told vnunet.com that the Chinese code as published contains substantial amounts of its own web filtering software CYBERSitter.
The company is asking US manufacturers to halt shipments of PCs loaded with the Green Dam code to China as a result.“It is 100 percent without a doubt our code that is included,” said Jenna DiPasquale, Solid Oak's PR manager.“It seems the majority of software is used, but it contains other code too. At this point what we're focusing on is stopping US companies from shipping PCs to China with the software installed.”Green Dam is designed by Jinhui Computer System Engineering in China. Zhang Chenmin, the general manager of Jinhui, has reportedly denied that any of the code has been copied."I cannot deny that the two filters' databases of blacklisted URL addresses might share similarities. After all, they are all well known international pornographic websites that all porn-filters are meant to block," Zhang told The China Daily."But we didn't steal their programming code."The Chinese government wants all computers sold in the country to include the Green Dam-Youth Escort software utility, which blocks pornographic web sites.
From July 1st all computers should either have the software installed or included on CD format.Although China has said that the software will not monitor and report back on user's viewing habits the software has worried some.“We've already seen what many suspect is the Chinese government's use of software in this way,” said Danny O'Brien, international outreach coordinator at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.“A localised Chinese version of Skype included backdoors that passed on private IM conversations to third-parties. Tibetan dissidents have struggled with keylogging spyware that is uniquely targeted to this political group.”
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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