China's official Internet information governing body, the China Internet
Network Information Center (CNNIC) has become the latest target in a nationwide
anti-hooligan application spree as the Beijing-based Anti-Hooligan Software
Federation lodged a lawsuit against it in Guangzhou, southern province of
Guangdong, the Beijing News reported on October 10.
The campaign by the federation also includes lawsuits against Yahoo! China,
Zhongsou.com, Baidu, Alibaba, Ebay, Qianxiang, China's high-profile Internet
profiteer. A total of 130 hooligan application makers are faced with lawsuits,
state media reported.
The CNNIC is accused of installing its application without informing Internet
users beforehand. It is also difficult for users to uninstall the software
completely from their operation systems.
The federation is demanding a symbolic 94 yuan (US$12) in compensation and a
public apology to the massive group of Internet users in China.
The number of Internet users in China has reached 123 million, trailing just
behind the United States, previous state media reported. However, so-called
'rogue' applications have become a headache for millions of Internet users.
'Rogue' applications include adware (which pumps out massive volumes of
advertisements), spyware, (which monitors the browsing habits of computer
users), trackware (which traces user's private information), and malicious
shareware (which contain posing viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, and similar
Most 'rogue' applications install themselves without the user's knowledge,
destabilize the operating system, and are very hard to completely erase from the
computer system. The organization is following yahoo! China and Zhongyao.com in
claiming its self-created software are tools that help Internet users surf the
web more easily.
"CNNIC supports the nationwide campaign by the federation and the media to
fight against hooligan software," the governing body said in a statement
obtained by the Beijing News.
"However, CNNIC's applications are free from hooligan software during
installation, uninstallation and user functions, in accordance with the rules
set by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)."
IETF, the authoritative body of Internet operation has published regulations
The IETF describes an Internet Standard as " a specification that is stable
and well-understood, is technically competent, has multiple, independent, and
interoperable implementations with substantial operational experience, enjoys
significant public support, and is recognizably useful in some or all parts of
the Internet. "
"Our application respects Internet users' rights, including the right to
choose and knowing the truth, " CNNIC says, adding that if the software cannot
be thoroughly removed from the computer system it must be other hooligan
applications created by other companies that are affecting the process.
Rampant hooligan software in China proves the untapped potential of the
world's second-largest netizen population.
The applications are always used to promote websites and lure Internet users
to link to sites showing lurid content or promising get-rich-quick schemes.
Meanwhile, some Chinese websites have resorted to the software to create false
data on the numbers of hits it receives, according to a report carried by the
Xinhua News Agency.
"A software producer can easily make 100,000 yuan a month," state media