Wednesday, June 10, 2009



After July 1st, all international companies selling personal computers inside of China will be required to preinstall government software that will block access to "harmful" content. It claims that the "Green Dam" software is designed to specifically keep porn from kids, but given the government's history of blocking browser access to a wide range of content, critics aren't so sure.

Information technology industry organizations have appealed to China to drop the initiative. Testing by independent software engineers has found that besides protecting children from pornographic content, Green Dam is also capable of filtering and blocking political content, and carries serious security risks for those who install it

And since nothing replace human “touch”

The city will seek to employ at least 10,000 “internet volunteers” before the end of this year to monitor “harmful” websites and content, said an official at the municipal authority’s information office.
Chinese local governments and Communist party branches often pay web commentators to influence online opinion. But it is unusual for officials to admit the practice and the big recruitment drive gives a rare view of the resources China uses to try to control the internet.

As civil servants, many low-class officials are designated to do a part-time job in work time. Which is rumored as "5 mao party".

They are asked to spend some time on internet everyday. Their jobs are to post or reply in popular forums, in order to control the direction of the public voice. Rumor has it that these civil servants will get 0.5 RMB per post, so they are vividly called "5 mao party" or wumaodang (5 mao = 0.5 rmb or 5 cents). By some estimates, these commentary teams now comprise as many as 280,000 members nationwide.

Internet Black Holes

Notification regarding requirements for pre-installing green filtering software on computers

In order to build a green, healthy, and harmonious online environment, and to avoid the effects on and the poisoning of our youth's minds by harmful information on the internet, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Civilization Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, and Ministry of Finance, in accordance with the Government Procurement Law, have used CCP financial capital to purchase one-year exclusive rights to use “Green Dam Youth Escort” Green Online Filtering Software (hereinafter referred to as “Green Dam Youth Escort”) along with related services so that the whole society may use it free of charge. After comprehensive testing and pilot use, the software has been shown to effectively filter harmful content in text and graphics on the Internet and has already satisfied the conditions for pre-installation by computer manufacturers.
– Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

According to the Epoch Times, hackers in China had accessed the keyword library and administrative codes, revealing only 2,700 keywords relating to pornography, and over 6,500 politically sensitive keywords. Chinese users of the software have apparently found that it injects a DLL file into Internet Explorer that prohibits the usage of FreeGate, one of the programs commonly used to bypass the Golden Shield Project.
According to tests conducted by a group of IT professionals in Hong Kong in June 2009, the software not only filters incoming contents, but also monitors the activity of the computer user. An example is that if the computer's user types "June f0urth M@ssacre" with the Notepad or Microsoft Word application, the application will be shutdown automatically without any notice. It is alleged that the Green Dam software also initiates unknown outbound internet connections which might be used to report activities carried out on the computer
The Green Dam Youth Escort recognizes pornographic images by analyzing skin-colored regions (hence the ban of pictures of pigs). However the software is incapable of recognizing pictures of nudity featuring black- or red-skinned characters but sensitive enough to images with large patches of yellow that it censors promotional images of the film Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. (Wikipedia)
The software runs only on Microsoft Windows, so Mac and Linux users are ignored

Green Dam Girl