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China Delays Internet Filtering Order

July 1, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — After an enormous amount of criticism from abroad and within its own borders, China has reportedly delayed its much-discussed requirement that manufacturers must pre-install special Internet filtering software on all new computers they produce.

This delay was announced yesterday, just hours before the deadline of July 1, reports the New York Times. The order to install the filtering software, called Green Dam-Youth Escort, had only been officially announced less than a month previously. (The Obama administration had responding by warning China that the filtering requirement could potentially violate international free trade agreements.)

The software is said to be designed to filter out pornography and violence for the protection of children, but many analysts were concerned that it would also be used to block other content as well.

If this signals a new trend towards a more liberal cyperspace in China, and not just a temporary strategy to defer criticism, then that could also spell good things for the prospects of someday opening up the Chinese market to legalized online gambling. Admittedly, that day would probably be a long way off, but this news represents an encouraging step in the right direction.

The delay of the order is currently on an “indefinite” basis, but isn’t likely to stay that way for very long. Click here to get more details from the New York Times.