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China wipes out Green Dam rollout

Government scraps plan to control Internet use

In what’s being hailed as a milestone in webizen power in China, the government has halted the rollout of Internet filtering software Green Dam Youth Escort at the last minute.

The edict that all personal computers sold in China must be preloaded with the program was due to come into force Wednesday, but the government backed down just hours before its enactment, and Web users were celebrating at Internet cafes around the country.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said the launch would be postponed indefinitely.

The directive caused a widespread public outcry when it was proposed last month, with critics saying the plan was intrusive and ineffective. The government said the filtering software was intended to shield children from content such as pornography.

While China can screen out or block websites it disapproves of via what has become known as the Great Firewall of China, controlling blogs and message boards has proven tricky for the government.

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