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China makes web filtering optional

04 September, 2009
By Allison Orr

Earlier this year, China issued a directive requiring the installation of specific filtering software called Green Dam Youth Escort on all personal computers sold in the PRC.  But now, the government has said that citizens can choose whether to use the program; only on public computers will installation be mandatory.

China’s minister of industry and information technology, Li Yizhong, said the software was always intended to be optional, and that the regulations were unclear when first released in May.

Mr Li said the regulation "wasn’t fully considered, and not expressed clearly, and gave everyone the impression that this is mandatory".

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