China’s Green Dam content filtering software may not necessarily go into all new PCs sold in China after all. Chinese news service Xinhua reported Thursday, that China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Li Yizhong said, that installation of Green Dam will be up to users and will not be mandatory.
Personally I don’t think it matters. The Government of China still has other avenues available to block content.
Desktop PC-based filtering can always be circumvented by users. The Chinese Government, if they wanted too, could easily block whatever they find objectionable, at the main network access points and GigaPOPs that provide access to the Chinese population.
So even if a user didn’t have Green Dam, the Great Firewall of China could still block access to the outside world. Remember, the Chinese government did cause some concern around the time of the Olympics last year with Internet censorship – and those were with users that didn’t have Green Dam.
The network, and more specifically network gateways, are the real choke point for Internet control and censorship, in my opinion.