Chinese Internet Filter Spurs Criticism

All new computers sold in China after July 1 must contain new software called that filters out a list of Web sites banned by the government.

Jonathan Zittrain, professor of law at Harvard Law School and co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, says the Chinese want to block politically and socially sensitive sites, as well as pornography.

"The government has certainly had interest for at least 8-10 years in controlling the flow of information on the Internet," he says. "And from what I can tell, this may be a belt-and-suspenders approach, coupling the existing filtering of Internet connections with PC software that actually runs on the computer of the sort that you might find in an American library for kids."

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