A ‘Blue Dam’ for Chinese Internet Providers

September 17, 2009 5:09 am Last Updated: September 17, 2009 11:13 am

The Chinese Communist Party recently introduced a new tool, the “Blue Dam” monitoring software, in an effort to strengthen control over public opinion before the regime’s 60th anniversary on Oct. 1. The move comes two months after installation of the Green Dam filtering software was postponed due to intense protests.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently forced all network providers to install Blue Dam on their servers, and notified individuals to install Green Dam software on their PCs.

Blue Dam differs from Green Dam in that it is installed on servers rather than individual PCs to monitor and filter information.

Authorities will start scanning and investigating network providers under the guise of policing “illegal” information on the Internet, according to the Hong-Kong based Apple Daily on Sept. 13. Those who have not installed Blue Dam according to the regulations will be punished.

Chairman Charles Mok of the Internet Society’s Hong Kong chapter told Radio Free Asia, “This is mainly targeting Internet service providers and webpage hosts. Though not publicly announced, everyone knows about it.”

China Internet commentator Wang Bo told the Daily, “[The authorities] have never relaxed their monitoring of the Internet. Their requirement that all new personal computers have Green Dam installed triggered a strong reaction. However, they always intended to push through installation on servers, and I think they will meet little resistance here.”

The move comes after several major Chinese websites, such as Sina, Netease, and Sohu were asked to have all unregistered users register their real names and ID numbers.

Moreover, Internet cafes in many cities and provinces now require users to log on with new IDs containing an implanted chip. Some Internet users are worried that the authorities will monitor their Internet activities this way, and are afraid to reveal their personal information.

Read the original Chinese article.