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China Defends Web-Filtering Software Requirement

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China on Tuesday (June 9) defended a new requirement that personal computers sold in the country carry a software that filters online content, saying the program is targeted at preventing the spread of pornography and other "unhealthy" content. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted on its Web site Tuesday a notice to all PC makers that they will be required to pre-load the "Green Dam-Youth Escort" filtering software on units to be sold in China as of July 1, including imported PCs.

The move has been met with criticism by at least one U.S.-based industry trade group, which denounced China's efforts "to build censorship capabilities right into the hardware." Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang defended the government's administration of the Internet, saying it was in accordance with the law and that the software "is aimed at blocking and filtering some unhealthy content, including pornography and violence."

From The Associated Press
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