June 16, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
When Chinese government authorities mandated that computers sold in that country must contain the government-approved Green Dam Youth Escort filtering software, it created suspicion in the West as to its real purpose, and widespread objections in China. Was it to prevent children from accessing pornography, or to extend official censorship into the home and office?
Then, Global Internet Freedom (GIF) -- a consortium formed by a few technology companies specialized in circumventing political censorship on Internet by repressive regimes -- released "Green Tsunami," software designed for Chinese users to disable or get rid of Green Dam.
Next, Solid Oak, a U.S.-based software manufacturer sent legal "cease and desist" orders to some U.S. computer manufacturers to stop them from installing the Green Dam software, claiming copyright infringement.
Then, security vulnerabilities were found and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reportedly ordered the Green Dam manufacturer to install security patches.
Finally, yesterday, China Daily reported that while manufacturers must still install the Green Dam software on computer hard drives or have it available on installation CDs, consumers are not required to use it.
Photo: by Peter Morgan. Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.