Beijing: Filtering Software Directive Still in Force

Tod Hunter
BEIJING — Chinese officials said that last month's directive that PCs sold in the country contain state-backed antiporn software is still effective, despite reports that the government had altered the requirement, according to a report on the Taipei Times website.

The government is working to clarify the May 19 directive mandating use of the Green Dam Youth Escort software, Wang Lijian, spokesman at the Ministry of Industry and Information Industry, said by telephone yesterday.

Reports have surfaced that China planned to make the installation of the Green Dam software optional, citing an unidentified ministry official, indicating a reversal of the government's directive.

The directive requires all PCs sold in the country to include the Green Dam software, starting on July 1, to block Internet porn and other "unhealthy" online content. The directive was issued May 19 and publicly circulated on June 9.

Users who have tried the software say it prevents access to violence and pornography, but also has blocked discussions of homosexuality, images of comic book characters, mentions of the banned Falun Gong spiritual group and — Hong Kong media reports said — images of pigs, because the software confuses them with naked human flesh.