China’s internet censors: dammed if you do

The internet is full of stuff of which China’s government disapproves. Yet there are 300m Chinese internet-users. Keeping the two apart has embroiled the Chinese authorities in a long cat-and-mouse struggle. Service-providers and internet cafés are closely supervised, and a wide array of filtering mechanisms already overlays the national internet architecture. A fresh initiative goes one step further. From July 1st every personal computer sold in China will have to come with new filtering software called Green Dam Youth Escort.It has yet to be decided whether Green Dam must be pre-loaded, or left on a disk for users to install. But it has sparked an uproar. Chinese internet users have vented online their spleen at being nannied. Hackers are reported to have mounted repeated attacks on the website of Green Dam’s developer. It has also received more than 1,000 harassing phone-calls, including death threats.

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