Microsoft: China Web Filtering Raises Issues

After a government order announced that all new computers in China would be required to have pre-installed filtering software, Microsoft is denouncing the notice. From AFP:

Microsoft late Monday said a Chinese rule that personal computers sold in the country include Web filtering software raises issues of freedom of expression, privacy, and security which “need to be properly addressed.”

In a statement to AFP, a Microsoft spokesperson said “Microsoft believes that the availability of appropriate parental control tools is an important societal consideration for industry and governments around the world.

“At the same time, Microsoft is committed to helping advance the free flow of information and to encouraging transparency, deliberation and restraint with respect to Internet governance,” the US software giant said.

Earlier Monday, Ed Black, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), described the Chinese move as a “very unfortunate development.”

See also Bruce Einhorn’s piece from BusinessWeek and an article from the New York Times. See also Rebecca MacKinnon’s English summary of the original government order requiring filtering software.