Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, insists that it’s only aim is to stop pornography and violence and sites that spread false or alarming information.
China is famous for its strict scrutiny of the internet, with entire sites shut down and tens of thousands of people employed in a continuous surveillance. Computer companies say they are seriously concerned because it seems that the program will also be installed on computers for export markets.
A representative of the US giant Microsoft observes that will the safeguarding of children who have internet access is undeniably necessary, transparency, freedom of expression and personal security must also be guaranteed. Which is why, he concludes, they are studying the potential of this new system of control.
Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, agrees that “Blocking access to pornography sounds like an acceptable goal. But the problem is that it’s all too easy to use the same technology to expand the censorship”.