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China’s New Approach of Internet Censoring

June 11, 2009

[Updated on 6/12/2009]

As effective on July 1, all personal computers sold in or imported to China need to shipped with a screening software that blocks access to certain web sites.

That screening software is called “Green Dam Youth Escort”. “Green” means to avoid web contents like pornography and violence that would harm the young generation. The software would connect PCs to a regularly updated database of banned sites.

I just don’t know how Chinese government decides which sites to ban. Is it also for a political reason? What else information (internet activities) from users’ PCs would be sent to the database? This is pretty scary.

According to this BBC News, “China’s computers at hacking risk“, there are some flaws in this software. The most serious one is that the communication between the machine and the server is not encrypted and therefore it may open a back door for the hackers intercepting the data or coming to place a malicious script or program. Others include blocking legitimate as well as banned contents (poor programming), blocking banned sites in Microsoft Internet Explorer but not in Mozilla’s Firefox (well, not really bad in my view ;) ) and no such a software for Mac and Linux machines etc.

As we know some Chinese people are pretty good in hacking softwares etc, I guess they may come up with some anti-green dam hacks soon. ;)

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