China Scales Back Fight Against Online Political Dissent, Naked Boobs

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China's initiative to install the suspiciously opinionated, prudish Green Dam software filter on all new PCs has been chopped off at the knees, so it'll only affect "Internet cafes, schools and other public places." Join me in hollow celebration!


Hollow, because China's still got a national content firewall, which pretty much precludes access to naked folks and Tibet's Wikipedia page, or whatever it is that the government wants blocked. Hollow, because lots of Chinese citizens don't own PCs, and depend on internet cafes for access. Hollow, because it sounds like this drawdown was due to logistical concerns, and doesn't reflect a change of philosophy in the government, which keeps hatching more and more plans to keep "true things" (and evidently, "sexting") from its citizens:

The government recently proposed a requirement that all users of online chat rooms and bulletin boards use their real names when posting comments, a move that would stifle the sometimes-freewheeling debate on many sites. Until now, government censors have played a cat-and-mouse game with anonymous Internet users who posted comments that flout approved positions.


That's mildly terrifying, for Chinese e-people! [NYT]