China postpones net-filtering software deadline

JISHOU, HUNAN — China’s censors have postponed the deadline by which computer manufacturers must include a net-filtering application called Green Dam Youth Escort. Green Dam was supposed to be installed on all computers sold in China as of tomorrow. The requirement — made ostensibly to protect youngsters from pornography — resulted in an avalanche of protests from China’s Internet users, computer manufacturers and the US government. China’s netizens were prepared to boycott the Internet tomorrow as a protest. [UPDATE July 1: Green Dam has inspired China’s wittier netizens to create a manga-style “Green Dam Bitch.” A variety of renderings of GDB can be seen here. A link in the accompanying article takes you to an image search for 绿坝娘 (Green Dam Bitch) on www.baidu.com, but the search will fail. Baidu, a homegrown search engine, will instead say, “The search result possibly does not conform to the related laws and regulations and content policies.”] Critics of Green Dam say the application is not only a security risk, allowing external computers access to users’ files and browsing history, but a probable means for Chinese authorities to censor the Internet. Chinese authorities offered no explanation for the delay.

China continues its censorship of Web by blocking Google.com 3

[UPDATE June 25 15:56: Google.com is once again available in China, for now. I’m leaving this post up, though.] JISHOU, HUNAN — Sometime this evening, the Chinese net nannies blocked access to Google.com, part of the government’s ever continuing struggle to combat (officially) pornography and (unofficially) access to sites critical of the government. True to form, the state’s censors are using Google as a poster child to warn those who might want to buck the censors. CCTV, the state-run television, had a report earlier this week blaming Google for “providing ‘vulgar and unhealthy’ content.” The report featured an interview with a young man — later discovered to be a CCTV intern — who said his roommate had become addicted to porn thanks to Google’s help. State censors then blocked the intern’s name (Gao Ye 高也) from permissible searches at Google China, the Chinese (net nannied) version of Google.com. Google.cn apparently agreed last week to restrict access to porn, so we can still use it. But, the Great Firewall of China is now blocking the international site,Google.com, which joins youtube.com, blogger.com and blogspot.com on the no-no list. Experts suggest that the government’s anti-porn crusade is a smokescreen to block access to ...
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