China has begun blocking Chinese-language search engine results deemed pornographic and is calling on Google to do more to combat explicit content
China has ordered Google to clean up its act when it comes to porn, and has begun blocking some Chinese-language search results, according to a report by China’s official news agency.
The move by the government is the latest chapter in its assault on Internet porn, and follows weeks of controversy over its mandate that all PCs sold in the country as of July have Web filtering software.
In a statement, officials at Google said the company was working to deal with pornographic content and material “harmful to children” on the Web in China. “After seeing the government’s announcement, Google has renewed these efforts,” a spokesperson said. “Google abides by the laws and regulations of the countries we operate in — and in China that means working to keep the Internet clean from pornography.”
The China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre, a government-supported Internet watchdog group, joined in the fray as well and called on Google to block foreign Websites with “pornographic and vulgar” content from being accessed through www.google.cn, the Chinese-language version of the search engine.
The Chinese government’s offensive on Internet pornography has been the subject of scrutiny of late. In May, the government announced that all PCs sold in Chinastarting 1 July would be mandated to carry Web filtering software called Green Dam Youth Escort Web to block pornographic content. However, critics have noted that the software blocks more than just porn – it also filters out sites that deal with politically sensitive subjects such as the Falun Gong spiritual group.
The Chinese government, however, contends that users will technically be able to uninstall the software and do not have to activate it. Meanwhile, researchers at the Universityof Michiganhave said the Green Dam software contains vulnerabilities and accused the software designers of stealing code from U.S.-based Solid Oak Software. Jinhui Computer System Engineering, the company that created Green Dam, has acknowledged the bugs in their product but denies stealing anything from Solid Oak.