China will not enforce Green Dam porn filter plan

China previously postponed the plan, which drew global fire

China said Thursday it will not force PC makers to bundle an Internet filtering program with computers sold in the country, backing down from a plan that stirred global controversy.

China will "definitely not" require the program, called Green Dam, to be packaged with all consumer PCs, said Li Yizhong, China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology, according to a transcript of his statements on a government Web portal.

China originally ordered all foreign and domestic PC vendors to pre-install Green Dam on new machines or to include the software on a CD-ROM. That mandate, issued in May, was indefinitely postponed just hours before it was slated to take effect last month. At the time, the Chinese government said it delayed the plan only to give PC makers more time to comply, but it did not set a new date for enforcement.

Thursday's statements were the first clear sign that China would not enforce the plan, which drew strong protest from Western PC makers and industry organizations. China has insisted that the Web filter was meant to protect children from pornography, but the program was also found to block Web sites that mentioned sensitive political topics such as Falun Gong, a spiritual movement banned in China as a cult.

Concerns about the program ranged from free speech and user privacy to PC security and intellectual property violations. A California-based software maker last month said it was preparing legal action over Green Dam for its use of programming code stolen from the company.

Li said use of the filter was meant to be optional and that the plan was misunderstood because it was not explained clearly. The software can be disabled or uninstalled.

PC makers including Lenovo, Acer and Asustek Computer have gone ahead with plans to distribute the program.

China's government will go ahead with installation of Green Dam on computers in public schools, Internet cafes and other public places, Li said. It is also working to address flaws in the program and would not rule out introducing a better filter, he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityChinaGreen Dam Youth Escort

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?