China’s Web Crackdown Continues

In the Wall Street Journal, Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, writes:

China is doing its best to remind us that technology can also be a tool of suppression, with Beijing recommitting to censoring its large corner of the Internet. Last summer, the authorities required computer makers to install “Green Dam” software on every PC sold in China, which would block troubling political and religious sites. The regulation was put on hold. But last week a Santa Barbara-based company called Cybersitter sued China and several computer makers for $2.2 billion for allegedly stealing code from its parental-control software aimed at blocking pornography.

The lawsuit—which faces an uphill climb because of difficulties in fighting global copyright violations—says makers of the Green Dam software lifted 3,000 lines of code from Cybersitter (even including some of its customer updates) and incorporated them into the Chinese software. Violations of rights to software in China are usually on display as close as the nearest side street, but it’s telling that the government would go to such lengths.

Cybersitter alleges there were several thousand attempts from China to hack into its servers, some with thousands of attempts at access per session, including one traced back to a government ministry. Spoofed emails originating in China purported to come from Cybersitter staff and attempted to install Trojan code to lift information from the company’s servers.


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