Beijing, China - It would appear that China has backed down in the face of public pressure by announcing that users are not required to install internet filtering software, but that it will still be supplied with all new PCs sold.
A Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spokesman told AP that use of the Green Dam Youth Escort software would not be compulsory. China Daily reported the U-turn on its front page under the headline 'Porn-filtering software: It's up to users'.
The government still maintains that the software is aimed at blocking violence and pornography, but anti-censorship campaigners at home and abroad claim it was mainly aimed at preventing discussion of non-approved subjects including news reports from outside the country.
The government had previously announced that the new software must be packaged with all computers sold in China starting next month. Computer makers must still either install Green Dam on the hard drive or supply it on CD. They will also be required to inform the government of how many machines they have shipped with the software.
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