China accused by the EU for its intentions to censor the Internet

By EDRi · July 15, 2009

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Deutsch: [EU beschuldigt China, das Internet zensieren zu wollen |]

On 25 June 2009, the European Commission condemned Chinese plans to enforce
the instalment of the “Green Dam Youth Escort” filtering software on all PCs
sold starting with 1 July. As an unprecedented decision, the Chinese
authorities postponed the action although they declared their intention to
continue with these plans in the future.

Quoting the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the
official Xinhua news agency stated: “The pre-installation was delayed as
some computer producers said such a massive installation demanded extra

The Chinese officials claim the use of the internet filter is necessary to
stop access of children to pornographic websites but the European Commission
believes that “the aim of this internet filter, contrary to what Chinese
authorities contend, is clearly to censor internet and limit freedom of
expression” and therefore urged China to postpone the decision and requested
a meeting at the “technical level to better understand what is at stake.”

The European Commission emphasised that “Media pluralism, freedom of
expression and press freedom are underlying elements of European democracy”
adding that “China’s insistence that the Green Dam filter be installed in
new computers proves once again that censorship takes place in this

Also that United States consider that China’s plans might be in violation of
the World Trade Organization. Researchers at the University of Michigan who
examined the software said it contained serious security vulnerabilities
which could lead to computers entering under the control of outside parties
via remote access and stated that the software text filter blocked words
that included phrases considered politically sensitive by the Chinese
Communist Party.

China has a long history of blocking websites with politically sensitive
topics such as the 1989 Tiananmen democracy protests, the Falungong
spiritual movement or any type of criticism of the government. Recently,
access to Google was temporarily blocked as the engine was accused of
displaying links to “pornographic” websites among its search results.

Chinese censorship of Internet ‘unacceptable’: EU (26.06.2009)

China says Web censor plan to proceed: report (1.07.2009)

EU condemns Chinese roll-out of internet censorship software (26.06.2009)