Beijing authorities are set to ramp up monitoring of Internet usage as the city plans to hire at least 10,000 censors to keep an eye out for “harmful” websites and content.
The Chinese Government are also attempting to ensure that every new PC sold contains web filtering software that can block political websites and blogs. From 1st July 2009 all computer manufacturiers will have to include a programme called Green Dam/Youth Escort, that was developed under commission by the government.
A Californian software company, Solid Oak, claims the software infringes its intellectual property rights.
Solid Oak chief executive, Brian Milburn, said: “If our code is being used to censor a country, we stand up to things like that,” he said. His company was considering whether such action was feasible.
“If we can’t stop HP and Dell from shipping, I guess the only way to resolve this would be an interim licensing agreement,” he said.
Chinese groups opposed to Beijing’s move had offered assistance in taking legal action in the country.
The Chinese media are refusing to give the issue the coverage it deserves, instead following instructions by officials to concentrate on “positive reporting”.