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China Internet Filter Challenged in Rights ­proar

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Chinese lawyer Li Fangping

Credit: Reuters Pictures

A Chinese lawyer has demanded a public hearing to reconsider a government demand that all new personal computers carry Internet filtering software, adding to uproar over a plan critics say is ineffective and intrusive. Li Fangping, a Beijing human rights advocate who often embraces controversial causes, has asked the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to allow hearings on the "lawfulness and reasonableness" of the demand, which takes effect from July 1 and was publicized only this week.

"This administrative action lacks a legal basis," Li wrote in a submission to the ministry that was sent to reporters by email on Thursday. "Designating that the same software must be installed in all computers affects citizens' rights to choose."

Li's demand, and denunciations of the plan from Chinese rights groups, have expanded a public battle over the "Green Dam" filtering software.

From The Washington Post
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