The Chinese government had announced that all new PCs shipped in the country after July 1 has to be equipped with the Green Dam Youth Escort filtering software, which blocked porn and politically sensitive material.
Now, however, it’s backing away from that, stating that installation of the software is optional.
China Daily quoted a government official as saying:
"PC makers are only required to save the set-up files of the program in the hard drives of the computers, or provide CD-Roms containing the program with their PC packages."
"The users have the final say on the installation of the Green Dam Youth Escort, so it is misleading to say the government compels PC users to use the software … The government’s role is limited to having the software developed and providing it free."
However, a report from the University of Michigan has said that the software leaves gaping security holes.
"Any website the user visits can exploit these problems to take control of the computer," the report said. "This could allow malicious sites to steal private data, send spam, or enlist the computer in a botnet." A botnet is a network of connected computers that can be used to send a barrage of spam or launch cyber attacks.”