China Faces Criticism Over Computer Filtering Plan; IT firms urge China to reconsider

China is facing a storm of protest at home and abroad over new regulations requiring all personal computers sold in the country to include software that can filter out pornography and other “vulgar” content from the Internet.Industry executives, free-speech advocates and ordinary computer users have responded angrily to the new mandate, which gives manufacturers until July 1 to preinstall the software on millions of new machines. The government presented the regulations to PC makers on May 19, but they were not released publicly until Monday. see:China Defends Web-Filter Plan for Sales of PCs
The Chinese government agency that is ordering personal-computer makers to ship Internet filtering software with their PCs defended the plan in the wake of concerns it could be used for political censorship or create privacy or security risks.Two days after the measure — originally disclosed quietly to PC makers last month — became public, state-run media on Wednesday quoted a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Industry saying that users will have a choice whether to install the filtering software, called Green Dam-Youth Escort, and that it won’t be used to collect user data. firms urge China to reconsider filter
A Washington-based group representing information technology companies called on China on Wednesday to reconsider its requirement that Internet filtering software be bundled with new computers.Chinese regulations mandate “Green Dam,” a program developed by Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co., be pre-installed on personal computers manufactured or shipped after July 1. China says the filter is designed to block pornography.

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