Symantec in talks with China over report ministry bans use of its product
Reuters in Boston
US security software maker Symantec said it is holding discussions with authorities in Beijing after a state-controlled newspaper reported that the Ministry of Public Security had banned the use of one of its products.
The China Daily reported last Friday the ministry had issued an order to branches across the nation telling them to uninstall Symantec's data loss prevention, or DLP, products from their systems, saying the software "could pose information risks".
The newspaper also said Sohu.com had reported the public security bureau had banned Symantec's DLP products from future procurement projects.
Symantec spokeswoman Colleen Lacter said her company was in discussions with the government about the matter, though she declined to confirm or deny the newspaper's account of what had happened.
"The discussions are ongoing and it's premature to go into detail at this time," Lacter said.
When asked whether other Chinese government agencies were pulling out Symantec's software, Lacter said: "We believe [this] is an incident isolated to the Ministry of Public Security."
The ministry declined to provide immediate comment.
DLP software helps organisations prevent workers from intentionally or unintentionally removing sensitive data from computer networks. It is one of several categories of security software sold by Symantec, which is best known for anti-virus programs that detect malicious software.