Privacy & Security

China’s Internet Filtering Troubles

By Katie Ash — September 15, 2009 1 min read
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As you might expect, the United States is not the only country struggling with the issue of Internet filtering in schools, as Kathleen’s story last week outlined. This Washington Post article talks about the filters that Chinese government officials require in schools. Apparently, the software, called the Green Dam filter, is causing other programs on school computers to crash and malfunction. And although the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says that the software blocks inappropriate content, some critics suspect it could be used to track Internet usage and block politically controversial Web sites, says the article.

Last month the Chinese government backed away from a plan to install the filter on personal computers sold in the country in response to those concerns, according to this Wall Street Journal online article. But the requirement continues for computers used in schools and public facilities.

Either way, some schools are uninstalling the software simply because of the computer problems that they are encountering with Green Dam in place. The software has been criticized for its poor programming, which some say opens the door for security concerns. To learn more about that, check out this report written by researchers at the computer science and engineering division of the University of Michigan.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.