The Beijing team behind "Green Dam Youth Escort", an Internet filtering software used to block violent and pornographic content, has been terminated owing to a lack of funds. The other project team of the software in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan province, is also running under the possibility of dismissal at any moment, Beijing Times reported today.
Beijing Dazheng Human Language Technology Academy and Zhengzhou Jinhui Computer System Engineering co-developed Green Dam after winning a 41.7-million-yuan ($6.1 million) bid from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in 2008.
The office of the project team in Beijing closed in June and all of its staffers had been dismissed, said Chen Xiaomeng, the general manager of the Beijing company which got 19.9 million yuan ($2.9 million) from the 41.7-million-yuan bid in 2008.
"We indeed lack funds. We cannot keep on operating any more after a one-year bitter struggle," said Chen. The 19.9 million yuan could only offset the Dazheng's one-year spending from 2008-2009. Since then, both Dazheng and Jinhui have never gotten any additional operating funds, added Chen.
In January, the Ministry of Education required local education authorities to conduct regular examinations on primary and secondary school websites, as well as install filter software on school computers to shield the primary and secondary school students from violent and pornographic content. The MIIT had bought one-year Green Dam service as part of the bid in 2008 to let the public enjoy a free download of this software.
More than 20 million users who have installed the "Green Dam Youth Escort" will be impacted by the closure of Beijing's project team which is responsible for the maintenance of its website and for promotion.. The tough situation of the other team in Zhengzhou, which is in charge of technology and service including after service, also poses a potential impact on users.