China's still got Green Dam on its mind
News of the death of the software filter Red China wants to put on every PC that enters the country is, it seems, greatly exaggerated.
The original plan was to put Green Dam on PCs from the 1st of July, and a few lily-livered PC vendors have already rolled over and installed it on their machines.
But according to state controlled newspaper China Daily, the plan is still in place. It's just been postponed for a while, it appears.
The Green Dam software is there, purportedly, to prevent Chinese youth being exposed to pornography. But people familiar with the code in Green Dam say there are all manner of other filters in there, including one related to the Falun Gong, the religious sect that inspires the Communist government with fear and loathing.
China routinely blocks a number of non-pornographic sites, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Falun Gong sites, and sites promoting the island of Taiwan as an independent country.
According to BBC radio this morning, the apparatchiks in China also, for some reason or other, take exception to Johnny Depp.
The filtering software is delayed not because China has suddenly seen the light on the road to Damascus, but because not all the PC companies are ready to install it on their machines.
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