US Officials Protest Chinese Online Gambling Filtering

Published Friday, June 26, 2009 -

The Wall Street Journal, recently reported that US officials have sent a letter to the Chinese government protesting the forced installation of filtering software on all new computers. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk along with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke composed the communication critical of the Chinese government's move to censor the internet calling the action a violation of World Trade Organization rules.

Online gambling activists in the USA were taken by surprise by this letter sent to China accusing China of the same actions that the US ban on internet gambling has imposed on the people in the states. The European Union, has charged the US with interference on the Internet, censorship and the denial of personal liberties to US residents.

A government spokesperson from the USA said that the letter from Kirk and Locke, "expressed that the U.S. government is seriously concerned about the software requirement, including wide-ranging concerns about the scope of the measure, the censorship implications, trade impact and security flaws which create serious problems for the IT industry and Chinese consumers,"

A US Embassy spokesperson commented after a meeting with officials representing the USTR, State, and Commerce departments and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to express that the blocking software would conflict with the, "internationally recognized rights to freedom of expression."

In an effort to control undesirable content in China, the Chinese lawmakers announced that all computers sold in the country would require blocking software nick named the "Green Dam". It was reported the blocking software would stop only undesirable content such as pornography and online gambling. The old argument presented by the officials in China and the USA said it is important to impose the censorship actions to protect the children of the country.

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