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Installation of Internet Filtering Software Not Compulsory

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China's computer users would not face a compulsory mass installation of Green Dam Internet filtering software, China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong said on Thursday.

He said it would depend on consumers to choose if they wished to install the software or not. But the installation of the software on computers in public places including schools and Internet cafes would still go ahead.

Plans to install the software program, Green Dam-Youth Escort, have aroused controversy.

"Installation is intended to block violent and pornographic content on the Internet to protect children", Li said, Individuals could install the filtering software voluntarily, if they so wished.

"Any move to politicize the issue or to attack China's Internet management system is irresponsible and not in line with reality", he said.

Installation of the software was postponed on June 30. Li said the ministry was still gauging public opinion before installation and would adjust its plans accordingly.

Work on upgrading the Green Dam software is also in progress.

The market would still be open to similar software programs, Li said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2009)