Everyone knows that China is not exactly the most Internet friendly country, in fact the Chinese government pretty much hates it. Despite being a truly connected superpower, the Chinese government has already declared war on Internet porn. Of course, the Internet is a cool tool when used as a weapon by the army of Chinese government sponsored hackers against other countries.

Now it seems that the Chinese authorities are turning their weapons of mass censorship on all citizens. It seems that as from next month, every PC sold in China will have Green Dam software installed. Green what? Well, the software will be installed under the direct orders of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. What does it do, I'll give you one guess? yeas, that's right, it censors the Internet automatically. The blocking software is being touted as a simple pornography filtering tool, but just happens to be developed by a company called Jinhui Computer System Engineering which is thought to have ties to the country's military. A spokeswoman for the company, Miss Zhou, however let slip that it will "automatically filter pornographic images and antirevolutionary content" and add that this was "very good news for users, so they should not uninstall it."

Yeah right.

As well as Green Dam, PCs will also come pre-installed with Youth Escort. This one filters out rude or "subversive" words. Nice.

Lenovo is said to be participating in the scheme, although it has been strangely quiet on the matter when it comes to press comment so far. Dell are said to be seeking clarification from the Chinese government. Given that China is now the largest PC market in the world after the USA, I suspect that most manufacturers will simply cave in to protect their positions and claim that users will be able to uninstall the software if they don't like it.

Did I say "yeah right" already?

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...