Facing strong resistance at home and abroad, China on Tuesday delayed implementation of a controversial rule that requires all manufacturers to install Internet filtering software on all new computers that are shipped and sold in China.
Just a day ahead of the July 1 deadline, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced through Xinhua, the official news agency, that the launch would be postponed and did not give a new deadline.
The software, called Green Dam-Youth Escort - intended to stamp out Internet pornography - attracted a flood of protests from both Chinese computer users and global computer makers.
In a statement on its website, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology accepted the criticisms of computer companies. It gave no new deadline for installing the software but it did leave open the possibility of the censorship scheme returning again in the future.
Research proved that the software was not only to prevent Chinese internet users from viewing porn, but according to researchers at the University of Michigan, Green Dam also blocked sites relating to religion and politics.
In a test they did, Web pages were blocked that contained words relating to Falun Gong--a semi-religious movement that has been branded a cult by the Chinese government
Researchers also discovered that Green Dam would block sites related to a small number of political keywords. While searching for Jian Zemin, a former Chinese president, a pop-up message appears that labels the Web content 'harmful.' Green Dam would then close the browser window making it impossible for the user to see the Website.
Meanwhile, sites like YouTube has remained offline for almost two months and Google has also come under attack, with Chinese officials accusing the U.S. company of not following rules to block porn. Other sites that have gone through similar regulations include Twitter, Flickr and Bing.