The Chinese government is asking PC vendors to bundle filtering software on all computer systems sold within the country.
Multiple reports say that government officials have asked vendors to offer the Green Dam-Youth Escort utility from 1 July, either as a pre-installed program or a bundled CD.
The government-commissioned software is designed to block pornographic sites, and can be adjusted or disabled by parents. The company that developed the tool has said that it does not monitor traffic nor transmit system information to third parties.
The move has angered privacy advocates, who have long criticised China for its policy of blocking access to sites deemed 'inappropriate' by government officials.
The country has gained notoriety for blocking access to external sites in what has been dubbed the 'Great Firewall of China'. The censorship issue came to a head last summer when reporters covering the Beijing Olympics were denied access to sites from connections at sporting venues.
The policy has also pulled in several high-profile IT companies over the years. Microsoft has received sharp criticism in the past for its compliance in shutting down the activities of researchers and bloggers who maintained sites which were critical of the Chinese government.
Yahoo, meanwhile, was roundly condemned for its part in handing over details of Chinese dissidents.
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