China will delay the mandatory installation of the controversial "Green Dam-Youth Escort" filtering software on new computers, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said here Tuesday. The pre-installation was delayed as some computer producers said such massive installation demanded extra time, said the ministry.I do not think we have heard the last of this nannyware. Dramas abound over it containing stolen code as well as American manufacturers pressing the US to kill it off. I believe the Chinese government is using this delay to ensure that (a) whatever it will eventually force manufacturers to install will not contain any hint of pirated code; (b) the software is less intrusive on basic computer operation; and (c) foreign firms are given more time to install future versions.
All computers produced or sold in China were scheduled to be installed with
such software after July 1, according to MIIT's previous announcement. The
ministry would continue to provide a free download of the software and equip
school and Internet bar computers with it after July 1, said a spokesman with
MIIT. The ministry would also keep on soliciting opinions to perfect the
pre-installation plan, he said. The software is designed to block violence
and pornographic contents on the Internet to protect minors. It could also help
parents control how much time their children spent online.
If and when those objections are removed, it would become a more unobjectionable piece of software even if it is, at heart, a fairly brazen attack on personal privacy.