China abandons plans for the Green Dam 'great firewall'
A statement that ran on the Xinhua news agency website declared that ‘China will delay the mandatory installation of the 'Green Dam-Youth Escort' filtering software on new computers.'
The plan was for firewall software to be packaged into every new computer in the country. The Chinese government originally claimed that the software was necessary to clear the Chinese web of harmful content, but it was met by criticism that called for Chinese web users to work against and attack the firewall.
Speaking to the Guardian, Wen Yuchao, a journalist and blogger who goes by the online name North Wind, cautioned against over optimism. “I am happy at this news, but this is just an interim victory – we still have a long way to go in the struggle. It remains to be seen whether the authorities will press ahead,” said Yuchao.
Although Isaac Mao, co-founder of the online Social Brain Foundation, believed that the government made a mistake in changing its plans. He told the Guardian: “I think this is the tipping point between the people rising up and those in power trying to suppress them.
“The Great Firewall is overloaded and that is why the authorities are trying to move the focus of control to the desktop. But it has annoyed a lot of people. Not just liberals who want free speech, but the young who see it as an intrusion into their personal lives.”