China's mandate that all PCs sold in that country must be shipped with state-approved filtering software has met more opposition, but this time it's not from human rights groups or American PC-makers. A California-based software company says the Chinese program is pirated, and has asked American computer makers not to comply with the rule.
Santa Barbara-based Solid Oak Software says it sent cease-and-desist letters to both Hewlett-Packard and Dell asking the hardware manufacturers to refrain from packaging the filtering software with their computers because it violates Solid Oak's intellectual property rights. A spokesperson for Solid Oak told China Daily that the company has determined "without a doubt" that the Chinese software, known as Green Dam Youth Escort, uses code stolen from Solid Oak's Cybersitter parental monitoring program.
The company is weighing its legal options, but in the meantime has joined a larger international chorus condemning China's actions as a thinly veiled attempt to restrict its citizens access to information. Industry officials are also concerned about the program's security, as independent examinations have determined that computers running the Green Dam software are susceptible to cyber attacks. American Computer makers say the Chinese government is not backing down from the mandate, which requires manufacturers to selling computers in China to comply by July 1.