China has delayed indefinitely a much-criticised plan to force manufacturers to bundle Internet filtering software with personal computers sold in the country, in an abrupt retreat hours before the policy was due to start.
The climbdown was reported late on Tuesday by the official Xinhua news agency, which said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology would “delay the mandatory installation of the controversial ‘Green Dam-Youth Escort’ filtering software on new computers.”
The “Green Dam” plan, which officials said was to stamp out Internet pornography banned in China, was to start on Wednesday, but had been assailed by critics of censorship, industry groups and Washington officials as politically intrusive, technically ineffective and commercially unfair. [ID:nSP491468]
No new date was given and the plan may drift into oblivion.