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China: Green Dam Internet Filtering Software Update

(Sept. 24, 2009) Li Yizhong, China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology, announced on August 13, 2009, that the wording in prior documentation concerning the installation of Green Dam Internet filtering software was “not clear enough,” causing people to mistakenly believe it was mandatory and evoking a strong public reaction. Li stated that henceforth no computer manufacturer would be compelled to install the software, but schools, Internet cafes, and other public venues would still be required to do so. (Gong Xin Bu Zhang cheng buhui qiangzhi yaoqiu anzhuang “Lü ba” [Minister of Industry and Information Technology States There Definitely Will Not Be Compulsory Pre-Installation of “Green Dam”] [in Chinese], CAI JING, Aug. 13, 2009, available at

Chinese authorities had previously announced that as of July 1, 2009, all computers sold in China must have the Green Dam software pre-installed. The policy was subsequently suspended (with the exceptions noted above) due to the vocal negative reactions at home and abroad. (Posting of Donald Clarke, dcclarke@YAHOO.COM to CHINALAW@HERMES.GWU.EDU (“MIIT Announces Green Dam Not Compulsory,” Aug. 13, 2009) (on file with author); see also Wendy Zeldin, 'Green' Software Postscript: Deadline for Pre-Loading Extended, Foreign Maker Ships Pre-Loaded PCs with Disclaimer, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, July 15, 2009, available at & Web Filter Required to Censor “Undesirable” Internet Sites, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, June 12, 2009, available at