The ministry said the requirement to pre-install Internet-filtering programs called "Green Dam" and "Youth Escort" had been postponed indefinitely. It cited concerns by overseas manufacturers that they could not comply with the directive in time as the reason for the delay. But Internet activists and bloggers who had opposed the software as intrusive and unsafe also took credit for the rollback.
Green Dam, which has already been installed on many school
China-watchers, both corporate and academic, are already sifting through the rubble of the Green Dam directive for clues. Is this a de-escalation in the face of international and domestic criticism? If so, does it bode well for future collaborative pushback by foreign companies against government decrees that infringe on basic rights and freedoms? Or was Green Dam an ill-conceived project that was never endorsed by the highest echelons of government and party who have now crushed it to avoid embarrassment?
Whatever the answers to these questions, concerted
opposition means that the 40 million PCs sold each year in