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China softens stance on Green Dam filter

Green Dam filter;China

Chinese consumers had worried that the Green Dam software could violate their rights to freely search the Internet as adults.

It is not often in China that a government minister softens his stance on a national order.

But Minister of Industrial and Information Technology (MIIT) Li Yizhong did that when he announced that the government's Green Dam computer software mandate was "not thoughtful enough".

The minister said at an Aug 13 news conference that the use of the software developed to filter out online pornography would "depend on consumers".

The phrase represented a significant departure from the government's orders in May that instructed computer makers to include the software on all computers sold in China.

Li stressed that the goal was still to protect children from online pornography.

"Any move to politicize the issue or to attack China's Internet management system is irresponsible and not in line with reality," the minister said.

His statement ended months of domestic controversy and complaints about Internet control from overseas governments and business organizations.

Li Chengyan, a professor at Peking University, said MIIT apparently had taken the objections seriously.

"I am glad to see that the minister has admitted to the ministry's mistake and explained what happened in order to clear up any misunderstanding," Li Chengyan said.

"That's doesn't happen in China that often," he added.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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