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Anti-porn software leaves net users cold

INTERNET users appear hesitant about the online pornography-blocking software China is pushing for personal computers. About 85 percent of 66,080 respondents to a survey on say they will not install the software on their computers.

Privacy was a major concern and some felt upset with software they worried could never be deleted from their computers.

The software, called "Green Dam-Youth Escort," targets online porn by blocking computers from accessing sites with pornographic pictures or language. China wants all personal computers sold domestically to have this software.

One user, identified as a Cantonese, told that he would prefer the country leave the decision whether or not to install the software to computer users.

Another user, identified as a native of Liuzhou City of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, echoed this and suggested authorities distribute the software on a disc rather than compulsorily implanting it in computers.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a notice on May 19 to personal computer makers that PCs to be sold on Chinese mainland from July 1 must be pre-loaded with the software.

The program would either be installed on the hard drive or enclosed on a compact disc, the notice said, adding that PC makers would be required to tell authorities how many PCs they had shipped with the software.

But officials from the State Council Information Office denied that the software was spy software and said users could delete it if they didn't like it simply by reformatting their systems.

A separate notice on the ministry's Website said primary and secondary schools had to install the Green Dam software on all school computers by the end of last month.

Educators "should fully realize the damage that harmful online information does to the physical and mental health of primary and secondary school students," the notice said.


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