China's anti-porn software raises fears of wider internet blocks

The Chinese government wants every PC to be sold with software that can block access to online pornography from next month.

The Chinese...

The Chinese government wants every PC to be sold with software that can block access to online pornography from next month.

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in an official notice that all PCs shipped in China need to offer Green Dam/Youth Escort internet filtering software either pre-installed or as part of basic software packages.

PCs have to be bundled with Green Dam software to be eligible for the government's subsidy for computers for rural households.

The move is being presented as an attempt to protect children, but has raised concerns that the authorities could be trying to take its internet censorship to a new level, according to the Financial Times.

Software engineers have said there is a possibility that the Green Dam software could be used to block content or websites considered politically subversive by the Chinese government.

The Chinese government routinely blocks access to political sites, particularly those which challenge the ruling Communist Party.

Many sites such as Hotmail and Twitter have been blocked in recent weeks ahead of the 20th anniversary of the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests on 4 June.

Read more on Antivirus, firewall and IDS products

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