China Dumps Its ‘Green Dam’ Web Filtering Mandate…For Now

From the San Jose Mercury News, “China delays requirement Web-filtering software on PCs“:

Under pressure from the U.S. government, the global tech industry and its own citizens, the Chinese government has delayed a controversial mandate set to kick in today that would require all new personal computers to be loaded with Web-filtering software capable of blocking pornography and objectionable political sites….[snip]

The Chinese government has insisted the software is a tool for parents to prevent children from viewing pornography and other offensive Web sites. But civil liberty activists, international tech associations and the U.S. government, as well as many Chinese bloggers, oppose the measure

The National Association of Manufacturers last week joined other business and trade associations in taking the unusual step of sending a letter directly Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao opposing the demand that so-called Green Dam software be installed on every PC. (Letter here.)

BusinessWeek’s regional editor for Asia, Bruce Einhorn, suggests China’s leaders may learn for this policy incoherence, maybe. From “China Censorship: After the Green Dam Fiasco“:

Maybe China’s top officials will realize that this pattern – announce a draconian new policy, prompt an international outcry and then reverse course – is just too embarrassing for an economic super power.

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