China to Delay Green Dam Rollout

We've written about China's Green Dam censorware a couple of times, and there's no doubt it's drawn a great deal of criticism. On Tuesday, China announced it would be indefinitely delaying the rollout of the product, which it had earlier said would have to be installed (or at least provided) on all PCs sold in the country as of July 1st.

The change in plans 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."

While being advertised as primarily preventing access to pornography, the software was to perform just as the "Great Firewall of China" does, blocking access to Web sites that might contain material critical of the Chinese government.

Interestingly, the software would not have had to have been pre-installed on the PC, but could have been shipped on a separate CD. There would also have been no restrictions on removing the software, and no prior mention made of any punitive measures taken against a PC maker that did not comply.