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Green Dam Calls Garfield Porn as China Backpedals
Green Dam Calls Garfield Porn as China Backpedals

By Mike Kent
June 30, 2009 12:33PM

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China has dropped its July 1 deadline for its Green Dam blocking software to be installed on all new PCs as tests find Green Dam considers Garfield and Paris Hilton morally bad. Green Dam also tagged images of actor Johnny Depp and roast pork. A test of Green Dam found it was largely ineffective, blocking Garfield and allowing pornography links.

Paris Hilton we understand -- but Garfield? China's mandated Green Dam software rates some images of the scantily clad heiress and the cartoon cat as morally bad.

While the software that must be installed on all new PCs sold in China is meant to block pornography and violent images, it also blocks other things. Besides Garfield, actor Johnny Depp and roast port are also no-nos.

While the Internet filtering software has drawn international criticism, China has backed down from its demand that the software be installed on PCs by July 1. On Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology would "delay the mandatory installation of the controversial 'Green Dam-Youth Escort' filtering software on new computers."

The ministry did not indicate when, if ever, its mandate might be restored. An official said, "The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will further solicit opinions from all sides, improve the plan, upgrade methods, and carry out related tasks." Or it could just drop the issue to avoid further criticism.

A test of the Green Dam software reported by Reuters found it was largely ineffective. With an image scanner activated, the news service reported the software blocked Garfield and flesh-colored pork along with images of Hilton and Depp. With the image filter off, the software provided links to soft- and hard-core pornography sites.

Reuters reported that when the software's settings are tightened, detecting too much of what the software considers skin causes all browsers to close. Green Dam can also be set to take snapshots of a user's screen and store them, leaving a potential trail for the government to follow, or for malicious software looking for confidential information.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2011-02-15 @ 1:57pm PT
Garfield? China is messed up.


Posted: 2011-01-22 @ 7:44pm PT
China is pretty messed up. They have little beef with prostitution and child sex trafficking, but a few dirty images from paid professionals is the government's top priority? I think repressing porn will result in more people pursuing the "lesser evils" in this case.

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