China caves on Green Dam by mattsteinglass
June 16, 2009, 6:06 pm
Filed under: China, Internet

Looks like China has made its new, buggy, crummy nationwide filtering software “Green Dam” optional. Amazing how responsive these autocratic regimes turn out to be to concerted expressions of public opinion.


4 Comments so far
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I don’t know if this is so much a response to public opinion than an admission of the clear stupidity of the move, even from the CCP’s perspective. Once they have software which actually works (if they ever manage that) I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they try to resurrect this in some other form.

Comment by FOARP

It has always been optional; the end users were never required to install or run Green Dam.

Have a closer look at page 2 para 2) of the original MIIT notice date 5/19.

“Preinstall” in Chinese actually means “bundle”. Take this 6/12 ZDNet article citing WSJ for example:

The end users were never required to install or run Green Dam. As to what Green Dam will filter, it is configuable by the user.

Comment by Charles Liu

Wow, Charles Liu followed me here! Strange how he managed to spot that they never meant to pre-install the software only after the government started saying that they weren’t going to include it pre-install. As for the ‘misinterpretation’, the Chinese media, the Chinese populace, and all those who are more expert translators than me, were all under the same ‘misimpression’.

Comment by FOARP

There was never a mandate to force installation of this software. According to the original 5/19 MIIT announement, the software is to bundle on hard drive or CD-ROM. There may have been confusion over the term “preinstall/bundle”, but both MIIT and the software maker have clarified this point as early as 6/10, that what is distributed is the setup file, and users are not required to install or run Green Dam (IMHO unfortunately ignored by the media at large, who seem to have opted for sensationalism):

据新华社电 昨日,工信部有关负责人说
According to Xinhua wire yesterday [6/09], relevant MIIT leader said

The ***end user can freely choose to install or not*** quote from MIIT offical is emphasized.

绿坝预装只提供安装文件 用户可决定是否安装 – Green Dam “bundle/preinstall” only provide installation articles, end users decide install or not
工信部要求预装进电脑的只是一个软件安装文件,所以用户可以选择是否把它装进自己的电脑里让他运行 – MIIT asks “bundle/preinstall” on computer is only the installation, so end users can choose wheither to execute it to install on their own computer

“工信部:上网过滤软件不监控网民 不强制安装”
MIIT: Online Filtering Sowftware Will Not Monitor Citizen, Will Not Force Installation (quote from software maker on MIIT mandate)

Comment by Charles Liu

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