"Green Dam Youth Escort" software was 'not handled well' in China

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Beijing, Aug 14 (ANI): A senior Chinese government official has said that the implementation of the "Green Dam Youth Escort" software, which filters online pornographic, was "not thoughtful enough".

The government had demanded in May, through a directive issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), that all personal computer manufacturers should ensure that the filtering software was included with all computers sold in China by July 1.

It was intended to offer PC owners the opportunity to screen Internet sites featuring pornography and violence, it was also supposed to protect minors from such content and need not have been used by other users.

"The choice of words in the directive was not clear enough, which led to people's misunderstanding of why the Green Dam software was ordered to be available on all computers," The China Daily quoted Li Yizhong, Minister of MIIT, as saying.

Yizhong has also said that the software would now be "voluntary", providing users an opportunity to decide if they want to install it or not.

"When users buy computers, they will be provided the software disk. It is up to the buyers to decide use it or not," said Yizhong.

Yizhong, however, added that China would still push ahead with the installation of Green Dam in schools and public Internet cafes.

"We will install it in computers located in schools and Internet cafes. We entirely respect customer"s benefit and freedom. We will definitely not make installation compulsory for all computers on sale," he said.

Yizhong further explained that MIIT wanted the software to be included with PCs sold in China, but it was never the ministry's intention to demand that the software be pre-installed.

He also said that the ministry wanted PC makers to include the program's setup files on new PC's hard drives or provide CD-ROMs containing code with PC packages. (ANI)

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