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China Faces Criticism Over New Software Censor

China is facing a storm of protest at home and abroad over new regulations requiring all personal computers sold in the country to include software that can filter out pornography and other “vulgar” content from the Internet.
China is facing a storm of protest at home and abroad over new regulations requiring all personal computers sold in the country to include software that can filter out pornography and other “vulgar” content from the Internet. Industry executives, free-speech advocates and many computer users have reacted angrily to the new mandate, which gives manufacturers until July 1 to preinstall the software on millions of new machines. “The compulsory installation of filtering software is a whole lot of useless flopping about,” said an editorial in The Wuhan Evening News. Computer makers in the United States say it will be impossible to fulfill the requirement by the end of the month and have asked the Chinese government to reconsider the directive. They say it raises thorny questions about censorship and whether manufacturers will be liable if the software — designed by a company with ties to China’s military and public security agencies — conflicts with operating systems or causes computers to crash.
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