JURIST Supported by the University of Pittsburgh
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

China official affirms that controversial Internet filtering software not mandatory
Christian Ehret at 11:22 AM ET

[JURIST] Chinese authorities reaffirmed Tuesday that computer users will not be required to use controversial filtering software, according to media reports. An official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) [official website, in Chinese] echoed earlier statements [AP report] made by state media that, while the "Green Dam" filtering software must be packaged with new computers, users will not be required to use or install the software. The statements clarify that the government has no intention of punishing people who do not use the software. The software blocks web sites [China Daily report] containing content such as pornography, drugs, homosexuality, or violence, but apparently does not filter political content. The policy, which takes effect on July 1, aims at protecting children from "harmful" content.

Last week, the policy was challenged [JURIST report] by Chinese human rights lawyer Li Fangping, who demanded public hearings to determine if the requirement is lawful and reasonable. Internet censorship in China has been a contested issue for several years. While the MIIT oversees the censorship, the State Council Information Office and the Communist Party's Propaganda Department determines the scope of what is blocked. During the 2008 Olympics, while the government was supposed to refrain from Internet censorship, the Global Internet Freedom Consortium [advocacy website] provided software to reporters to circumvent Internet restrictions [press release]. In 2007, Thailand passed a law [JURIST report] aimed at quashing Internet pornography and libel to allow authorities to confiscate and search private computers. Also in 2007, Google [corporate website] urged the US government to fight the rise of global Internet censorship, calling it the "single greatest trade barrier we currently face." According to a report [HRW report] released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] in 2006, nine state-licensed Internet access providers ultimately control access to foreign networks for all users and retail service providers.

Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


 Congressman introduces bill to legalize marijuana oil
9:20 AM ET, July 29

 UN rights chief calls for end to fighting in eastern Ukraine
3:36 PM ET, July 28

 Federal Judge declares DC gun law unconstitutional
3:20 PM ET, July 27

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!


Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law


Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.


Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org