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
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.