Jun 08

The Chinese government wants all computers sold in China after July to come with software that automatically censors the internet.

Chinese citizens at a computer shop: China moves to censor home computers
The Chinese government wants all computers sold in China after July to come with software that automatically censors the internet Photo: REUTERS

The move will give the government unprecedented control over what can and cannot be seen on the internet. In recent weeks, China blocked access to a host of websites, including Hotmail and Twitter, and expressed worries that the internet was becoming a tool of protest.

An issue of the state-controlled magazine, Outlook Weekly, strongly criticised local officials for not paying more attention to the internet, saying that online debate forums in China are not just “ordinary chit chat in free time” but could also be stirring trouble.

Under the directives from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which declined to comment on the topic, computer-manufacturers will be asked to install blocking software from a company with ties to the country’s military.

The program, called Green Dam, is designed primarily to stop access to pornography, according to its makers, Jinhui Computer System Engineering company. “From July 1, every PC will be shipped with the software before it is sold to customers,” said a member of the company’s marketing department, who identified herself only as Miss Zhou.

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