For a country that is already ranked as the most stringent of online censors according to Herdict.com the move indicates further control for the Chinese government and less freedom for its public.
The software’s main developer claims that its Green Dam-Youth Escort programme would protect young internet users from “harmful” material such as pornography. However, China has been guilty in the past of restricting access to much less harmful sites. Only last week sites including Twitter, Hotmail, Live, Flickr and YouTube were reportedly off-limits.
Charles Mok, chairman of the Hong Kong division of Internet Society also expressed concerns that the software may be used “to collect personal data or filter other web sites”.
The Chinese government state that the programme is aimed at “constructing a green, healthy, and harmonious Internet environment, and preventing harmful information on the Internet from influencing and poisoning young people”.
Critics, such as myself, argue however that the programme is aimed at further controlling young minds, preventing them from finding out about some of the many atrocities their government are responsible for.
Why else would they ban access to Amnesty International?