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China limits plans for web filtering software

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Fri August 14, 2009

China holds on web filters

The Chinese government has relented in its plans to impose web filtering software on computers, a statement from the country's industry and technology minister suggests. Li Yizhong claims that the Communist Party will "absolutely not" force installation of Green Dam-Youth Escort on every computer sold in the country, despite the fears of both corporations and political dissenters. Nominally meant to block pornography, critics have claimed that the software could easily be used to extend censorship beyond current network filtering techniques.

Corporate protests have mostly involved the cost and complexity of installing the program on every computer sold in China. Li insists that Green Dam was never meant to be mandatory, but a day before a July 1st deadline requiring bundling of the app, a government spokesman noted that "postponing of pre-installation" was allowed based on the limited preparation time computer makers have had. Some companies, namely ASUS, Acer and Lenovo, have begun bundling Green Dam regardless.

Li now says that Green Dam will only be actively installed in public facilities, such as schools and Internet cafes. The government is meanwhile working on an updated version of the software, with unspecified improvements. There is no timeframe available for the update's release.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    no kidding...

    will "absolutely not" force installation of Green Dam-Youth Escort on every computer sold in the country,

    Since it is windows-only software, they weren't going to be able to do that anyway. And they had said it would be installed but not required to be used (according to the gov't. And they wouldn't lie, would they).

    despite the fears of both corporations and political dissenters. Nominally meant to block pornography, critics have claimed that the software could easily be used to extend censorship beyond current network filtering techniques.

    That's right. People are concerned that it would 'extend' their current filtering/censorship.

    How stupid can people get. Why would they waste their time trying to filter on each computer when they can extend it much easier at the switch.

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