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Chinese Schools Quietly Discard Controversial Web Filter

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Internet cafe in Shanghai

Customers playing online games in an Internet cafe in downtown Shanghai.

Credit: Nir Elias / Reuters

Schools in Beijing are quietly removing the Green Dam filter, which was required for all school computers in July, due to complaints over problems with the software.

China last month formally backed down on a plan to preinstall the Internet filter software on all new computers sold in the country after July 1 after an international and domestic outcry. But schools were still ordered by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to install the Web filter, which critics said could be used to spy on Internet users and block politically sensitive sites.

Nonetheless, some schools have chosen to uninstall it. "We will remove all Green Dam software from computers in the school as it has strong conflicts with teaching software we need for normal work," said a notice carried on the home page of the Beijing No.50 High School (, dated Sept 1.

From Reuters
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