New Delhi, July 1 (ANI): The Chinese Government has delayed the mandatory installation of the controversial "Green Dam-Youth Escort" filtering software on new computers that was scheduled to start today.
The software is designed to block violence and pornographic content on the Internet to protect minors, but users have repeatedly raised concerns about invasion of privacy.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which oversees the software installation, said that the delay came after "some computer producers said such a massive installation demanded extra time."
It did not set a date for when the order to install the software would come into force. But the ministry will continue to provide free downloads of the software and equip school and Internet bar computers with it, Xinhua quoted a spokesman for MIIT, as saying.
"I would certainly not like such a program installed on my new PC," said a 30-year-old art researcher.
"I assume the move is a result of mounting pressure in recent days," he added, without revealing his real name.
In the interview with Xinhua, the MIIT defended the filtering software as "an act for public good," and said it conforms to WTO rules.
The ministry held some foreign media and groups responsible for false reports about the software, which they described it as spyware that hinders freedom of online access.
The ministry also said that if any copyright dispute were to arise, the issue would be dealt with according to the law.
California-based Solid Oak claims the Green Dam has ripped off its CyberSitter software and it has threatened action in China.
Neither of the two developers of the filter - which cost the government 41.7 million yuan were available for comment on Tuesday. (ANI)