China Bans Free Text Editor Notepad++


Published by PCMAG.COM

Summary generated on August 18, 2020


    It doesn't take much to get a piece of software banned in China, even if it's free software, and the developer of popular text and source code editor Notepad++ has just proved that.

    Anyone attempting to download the free-to-use Notepad++ application in China will instead be presented with a message stating the software contains "Illegal information." As TechCrunch reports, developer Don Ho revealed the ban in a tweet, stating the reason was obvious.

    Back in October last year, Ho released Notepad++ v7.8.1, but that version was a little different as it was named the "Free Uyghur" edition.

    The release notes for the software included a message about the treatment of the Uyghur people in China as well as links to actions individuals can take to help them.

    Last month, v7.8.9 of the editor was named the "Stand with Honk Kong" edition.

    The release notes include a discussion of the so-called "National security law" and explain how this is a problem for the world because, "Any American or European who stands up for Hong Kong in the USA or in Europe and violates this law, can be arrested in Hong Kong, even in the stop-over flight in HK." And with that in mind, Hon says, "I reject the idea that our given free speech rights are restrained by an authoritarian country. Notepad++ stands with the people of Hong Kong.".

    Either one of the releases is enough to trigger a ban for the software in China, so as Hon clearly states, the ban wasn't a surprise, and the reason is "Obvious." As you'd expect, the responses to the Notepad++ tweet confirming the ban are supportive, calling it an honor being banned for highlighting these injustices.