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Chinese Govt Spyware Puts Computers At Risk

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the big-brother-speaks-mandarin dept.

Security 110

Ihmhi writes "China's mandatory 'Green Dam Youth Escort' web filter software apparently has a series of severe flaws. In addition to not working on Linux or MacOS, traffic between the software and its servers is unencrypted." I'm sure it only gets better after that.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Linux people always complaining (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293087)

In addition to not working on Linux or MacOS

FFS, just run it in Wine!

Re:Linux people always complaining (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293367)

In this case, not running in Linux or Mac is a feature, not a bug!

Re:Linux people always complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294587)

Well there will be 1 Billion more people running Linux or OS X!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Linux is not ready for the desktop (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293983)

First, it's incompatible with all of those Windows-only worms, now it won't run invasive government-mandated spyware. At this rate, it will never be the year of the Linux desktop.

Re:Linux is not ready for the desktop (0, Offtopic)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28295003)

Someone mod parent Funny. Insightful - maybe it is that too.

We are all waiting for the major disaster of Windows that makes everyone abolish it. One cause may be that Mount St. Helens [google.com] is one vent of a Supervolcano [newscientist.com] .

Mount St. Helens seems to be sharing the magma pocket with Mount Rainier [google.com] .

It don't have to come down to a volcano erupting to take out Redmond, it's enough with a considerable quake.

But on the other hand - it's more likely that Microsoft does something utterly stupid which makes them drop dead. Just look at GM, they failed to adapt.

Looks like the Dam's cracked (1)

Techmeology (1426095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296559)

According to the BBC website, Linux (and Mac) machines don't require this censorware (they're just allowed on). In any case what's to stop you from uninstalling it when you get a new computer, if computers only have to be sold with this software?

Re:Linux people always complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28298201)

Thats what they get for using third party software. Outsourcing to the private sector!!! I thought these guys were communists. Make your own snoop-ware!

Security 101 (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293133)

Do not write any code that could intentionally be used to DDOS your ass.
But seriously, this is great. It's going to be one hell of a show when it gets cracked.

Re:Security 101 (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296625)

When? As soon as, please.

Besides, this doesn't look like you could only intentionally DDoS them, it can even happen that you may unintentionally do it. Maybe with the "help" of a trojan that just happens to infect your computer... you know those sneaky malware writers and their schemes, and sorry that I got infected, it must've been that I went to the wrong sites, but good comrades, you know where I've been and thus you know where I got it from. Strangely, I only visited good Chinese sites...

Re:Security 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299951)

I would suspect that the Dali Lama is likely to throw some money at skilled computer people in the Czech Republic or Belarus, so it won't be too long. Then it shouldn't be too hard to feed a lot of garbage data into China's new software toy. Something along the lines of "These are not the emails/files/IMs you're looking for, move along..."

When they achieve this, I think they'll stay pretty quiet about it. It will be best to let the China government still think they're in control while people are given yet more freedom. It's akin to having tunnels built amidst the contruction of yet another great wall.

Tag (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293147)

defective by design.

This software is legally mandated. (4, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293149)

So does that mean that selling computers with Linux or OSX installed is illegal? Or will they get away with "installing" the software on those computers even though it can not function?

Re:This software is legally mandated. (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293255)

Considering that the Chinese government has put a lot of time/effort into mandating Red Flag Linux for internet cafes, I would say that they "install" it and it doesn't function.

Re:This software is legally mandated. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299131)

I foresee a large code contribution to the WINE project in the near future...

Re:This software is legally mandated. (5, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293965)

It's mandated that it be sold with all new computers. It doesn't need to be installed, just supplied with the PC.

Think of it as an AOL Free Trial CD. You remember, the free coaster they shipped.

Re:This software is legally mandated. (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296163)

I miss the days of the AOL floppy. Those were at least useful as more than coasters.

Re:This software is legally mandated. (1)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28295123)

Wouldn't it be funny if this sparked a "MacOS to Windows hardware" hack that worked, spread like "kitten killer video [slashdot.org] " and then seeped back into the West and shut up the whiners (not to be confused with the Winers).

Then, Chinese could buy a compliant windows machine, hack it to MacOS, and the DamWare wouldn't know. Or will they require that all machines stay on all the time, such that silence is a violation?

Re:This software is legally mandated. (1, Interesting)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296999)

This is just like the free gun-lock they provide when you buy a new firearm. It isn't required (in many places) but it is always given.

They want the tool to be available for people that want to use it. Before everyone says OMG the Chinese are at it again, remember that the US Government (via the Childrens Internet Protection Act) mandates schools and libraries in the public K12 system install filters, and it will be really interesting how that applies to school-furnished laptops. It is the exact same lame "protect the childrens!" mandate only the Chinese expand the scope but make it optional for the equipment owner to implement.

While I abhor censorship, from an implementation perspective it seems like an ISP as an opt-in/opt-out filter that is easy to immediately enable/disable would be far more effective, and easier to implement and has no additional vectors for attack/expoitation than normal HTTP traffic does.

Is the software available to download anywhere? (3, Interesting)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293183)

after all the slating given to china over censorship, it would be interesting to be able to browse from behind such a filter and see how much it would affect the surfing of a typical westoner

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293239)

Wouldn't it be more fun to disassemble the software, find the gaping flaws, and simultaneously take 300 million computer off the net?

Epic lulz would have to be redefined from then on.

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294621)

Wouldn't it be more fun to disassemble the software, find the gaping flaws, and simultaneously take 300 million computer off the net?

Wouldn't it be more fun to use the gaping flaws to build a botnet, DDoS various targets and blame it on China?

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (1)

dstarfire (134200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297107)

No, as that would make you no better than the hackers over there who do that same sort of thing to American software which is "merely" forced on us by the vagaries of market and culture.

Also, which targets would you knock down? If you attack their commercial or financial infrastructure, you're hurting American companies and citizens as nearly all our electronics and value (aka cheap) goods are made over there. The only useful target would be to attack government sites and somehow blame it on their native hackers. Might actually get them to finally crack down on those bastards.

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (1)

BlargIAmDead (1100545) | more than 5 years ago | (#28298111)

All I can see in both of your sentences is the word "gaping" and then the idea of a bot-net that denies you service AND makes every picture on your HDD and background goatse.

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28299045)

You don't need that software. You already got Windows.

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293359)

But filtering in China is done at a level independent of the computer. This adds another layer of "protection" and enforcement but isn't really the full filtering of the internet. Think of this like a porn blocker that blocks a few sites compared to the "Golden Shield" which blocks all references to anti-communist or different forms of communist ideals.

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294033)

That's true, but, it should give at least a taste of the experience a typical Chinese person encounters when he or she tries to browse the web. For that reason alone, it might be useful to try out (in a virtual machine, of course).

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296355)

My understanding is that it isn't supposed to do any filtering, just attempt to delete known methods for circumventing the great firewall.

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (1)

koxkoxkox (879667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28295271)

Maybe this plugin for Firefox is what you want ? I didn't try it though ...

http://chinachannel.hk/ [chinachannel.hk]

Re:Is the software available to download anywhere? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296419)

...see how much it would affect the surfing of a typical westoner

Really?! Is that all we're known for?!

So this is a good thing (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293197)

The first result will be that more people will use Linux.

Re:So this is a good thing (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293507)

No, not a good thing. You see in the authoritarian/communist society which is China, the government owns or has major influence in everything. So even with OSS projects that have a commercial vendor (like Red Hat) the government could convince the company to poison the source repos and the binary repos with modified versions. So in the end you have an authoritarian Linux system that even pirated Windows would be looked at by dissenters as "more free" because it doesn't run into the poisoning of OSS.

Re:So this is a good thing (2, Insightful)

tattood (855883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294049)

First of all, I don't think that China could convince Red Hat, or any other commercial vendor to poison their own products to add things like this in. If anything, they would modify the files themselves, and then have their firewall/cache systems return their modified versions instead of the real version. Even if they were able to do that, there are dozens, if not hundreds of Linux distros out there. They cannot convince all, or even most of them to make these changes, so there will still be plenty of ways that Chinese people can get a hold of "un-tainted" Linux distributions.

Re:So this is a good thing (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294205)

First of all, I don't think that China could convince Red Hat, or any other commercial vendor to poison their own products to add things like this in

Well, not Red Hat but what about Red Flag which is widely used in China and is mandated in some places for internet cafes. If they can convince the OEMs, convincing Chinese OS makers would be the next logical step, Linux is open and Red Flag already has a large userbase in China.

Even if they were able to do that, there are dozens, if not hundreds of Linux distros out there. They cannot convince all, or even most of them to make these changes, so there will still be plenty of ways that Chinese people can get a hold of "un-tainted" Linux distributions.

Censorship can never convince 100% of the population, but if you can get 95% and the 5% either are ordinary people who are scared to protest, high-ranking people who if they tell they loose their money, or unaccepted "radicals" who even though they have no fear of the government, the government or media makes it seem like their ideas are unworkable or destructive.

Re:So this is a good thing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296691)

Use a source based distro (Gentoo, e.g.), keep up to date with reports of tampering and un-tamper your version.

When you have the source, you are in control of your software. Whether you execute that control is up to you, though.

Re:So this is a good thing (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297963)

The first result will be that more people will use Linux.

Does the Chinese parent [who can turn the filter off] object to limiting his kid's access to porn?

If the answer is "No," then the take-up of Linux is likely to be less, not more.

The geek has a remarkably parochial mind.

Nothing outside the values of his own culture ever seems quite real.

It's chinese stuff (4, Funny)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293217)

Hey, it's Chinese stuff for god's sake, did you expect some quality out of it?

Re:It's chinese stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293381)

Lead poisoning in 5...4...3...2...1

Re:It's chinese stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293919)

Is it just me, or do the little "virtual police patrol" cartoons about halfway down the article look just like the characters from Fallout?

Re:It's chinese stuff (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297287)

If everything fails, just add some MSG and it'll at least seem great.

Of course (1)

drunken_boxer777 (985820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293263)

Perhaps I am cynical, but do you think the Chinese government would require this software to be distributed with every new computer if there wasn't a backdoor to monitor citizens?

Re:Of course (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296723)

Do you think any government would require some kind of software to be distributed with every new computer if there wasn't a backdoor to monitor citizens?

Ya know, snooping on your citizens ain't just for Commies anymore.

What are you calling a "flaw"? (3, Insightful)

Bander (2001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293289)

I hardly consider the lack of Mac or Linux versions a "flaw". In fact, I consider that one of the few positive aspects of the software.

This all seems most responsible to me as... (1)

bothemeson (1416261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293307)

From TFA:-

The Chinese government said that the Green Dam Youth Escort software, as it is known, was intended to push forward the "healthy development of the internet" and "effectively manage harmful material for the public and prevent it from being spread."

Surely "effectively managing", as they do with the economy, growth in "harmful material" might limit said growth to, say, only 5% per annum - well within the the scope of our fine Western tradition of the "healthy development of the internet" :-) Hiweed anyone?

Oh, God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293349)

If it was sending encrypted traffic, we'd all be bitching about how the Chinese were sending a bunch of super secret encrypted data to their servers.

Your friendly Chinese government official here. (5, Informative)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293383)

The "mandatory" software these computers will be shipped with is no different than a VChip inside of all modern American TVs; it's a feature people may use, but are allowed to uninstall at their sole discretion. Besides, this stuff runs on Windows, it's just one more straw on the pile of ways to hijack an unprotected computer. We also choose a tool that doesn't run on Linux because we're sick of typing 'sudo apt-get install wine' everytime we install a new Linux distro. This assures minimal typing for all Chinese Linux users.

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293597)

The thing about the V-Chip is, its sorta open, there is no "reporting", and it can't be hijacked.

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (2, Informative)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294265)

TVs, in general, cannot be hijacked (BoTVnet?) The mentioned security concerns are reasons to push for improvements to the software, not as an excuse to defame a government for trying to give parents more tools to protect their children. Again, if you do not wish to use this software, please feel free to uninstall it -- it's only there for those who want to use it.

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294427)

not as an excuse to defame a government for trying to give parents more tools to protect their children.

"protect" them from what? From the evils of porn? This isn't 1995 here people, and its pretty hard to not know your going to a porn site today especially if you use a search engine to find sites. If your kid is searching for porn then obviously they aren't as "innocent" as you think they are. And whenever their censorship is under the guise of "protecting" the people from such evil ideas as human rights and alternate ideologies, it gets quite suspicious whenever they try to mandate more controls.

Again, if you do not wish to use this software, please feel free to uninstall it -- it's only there for those who want to use it.

Thats nice, but why install it in the first place? There are loads of internet "protection" filters out there, mandating the installation of one, especially from a government that constantly abuses its citizens should be cause of concern or alarm. Don't you think?

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28295479)

"protect" them from what? From the evils of porn? This isn't 1995 here people, and its pretty hard to not know your going to a porn site today especially if you use a search engine to find sites. If your kid is searching for porn then obviously they aren't as "innocent" as you think they are. And whenever their censorship is under the guise of "protecting" the people from such evil ideas as human rights and alternate ideologies, it gets quite suspicious whenever they try to mandate more controls.

If you do not mind your children looking at pornographic material, then feel free to uninstall the software; you, however, are not the sole arbitor of parental guidance; different people and different cultures have their own views and ideologies on what children should and should not view. They are not telling you how to raise your children, they are helping others raise their children as they see fit. Again, this is not mandated for the parents, it is madated for the computer manufacturer.

Thats nice, but why install it in the first place? There are loads of internet "protection" filters out there, mandating the installation of one, especially from a government that constantly abuses its citizens should be cause of concern or alarm. Don't you think?

It's not cause for defamation, it's cause for careful monitoring. When you start insulting a government before it has even done anything wrong, it makes -you- look bad; make your worries clear, and wait to see what happens. Furthermore, not everyone is as tech savvy as you or the other slashdotters. Many parents aren't even aware such options exist, simply because they're uneducated.

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297223)

Once in class our teacher was looking for a picture of some famous building on Google and what do you know, a huge penis pops out after clicking one of the pics in the first page of results.
Anything can happen on the Internets.

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296773)

it's only there for those who want to use it.

for now.

Salami technique and boiling the frog ain't new for governments. For now it's "only humanitary" or "only to catch terrorists/pedophiles/boogieman_of_the_month", but when it's in place and we have "wide acceptance for it", why not use it for more? Or, in this case, make it mandatory since "so many thought it's a great thing" (read: didn't know about it and/or don't care enough to stink up a storm).

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297183)

So I take it you and mister O'Reily agree on the liberal conspiracy to turn America into a communist regime? Today executive power to the Tzars, tomorrow the world! -- Erm, America; really though, if you can't keep your footing on a slippery slope then you have bigger issues than the bottom of the cliff. All you've done is argue that this should be carefully monitored, not thrown into place willy-nilly. The public is very very aware of what is going on, and the moment China slips in some naughty business, the dogs will bark (or do you really think no one will notice it when this software starts blocking political content?)

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (1)

forand (530402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293847)

Except for the part where the software causes your machine to be more accessible to attackers, yup other than that perfect analog.

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294101)

You're an idiot.

Re:Your friendly Chinese government official here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294351)

no u

Bad move ... (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293385)

"We found a series of software flaws," explained Isaac Mao, a blogger and social entrepreneur in China

... when contacted later for further comment, it was discovered that Mao had been assigned to 18 years of reeducation through labour in the coal-mining provinces.

Re:Bad move ... (5, Funny)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293431)

No, we've assured his skills will remain in good use. If you wish to speak on him, please PM him on the US Shattered Hand Realm for WoW, where he has been assigned 18 years of reeducation through labor in the WoW-gold mining servers.

Re:Bad move ... (1)

tattood (855883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294157)

I wish I had mod points. Funny as hell.

Re:Bad move ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299005)

Ni Hao

i first read that as "Green Day Youth Escort" (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293393)

and i thought yeah i know they have a new album but this is ridiculous

International competition for stupidest government (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293563)

Lately it's like all the countries of the world are engaged in an Olympic competition to see who can screw themselves up the most through acts of extreme stupidity and greed. What the fuck is wrong with people?

Re:International competition for stupidest governm (4, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293931)

Lately it's like all the countries of the world are engaged in an Olympic competition to see who can screw themselves up the most through acts of extreme stupidity and greed. What the fuck is wrong with people?

I don't know what you just said except "Olympics", and we all know what we do at the Olympics, right? Support your country to be number one, no matter WHAT the event!

U-S-A! U-S-A!~

When you buttume ... (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293593)

"We have buttiduously canvbutted the industry [today.com] , buttessed what is available and buttembled the finest selection of contractors chosen in a completely open manner for this buttignment. Butterting free speech is one thing, but a triparbreaste committee considers that that does not justify mere pbuttive breastillation at the expense of others. The filters will buttociatively clbuttify all communications and filter then, I can butture you, rebuttemble them with surpbutting exacbreastude in any quanbreasty. Consbreastuents can be rebuttured that a mulbreastude of industry compebreastors will butture quality and keep our clbuttrooms safe. Green Dam will not embarbutt us!"

Re:When you buttume ... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296403)

Well played, but I think you may have swiped the idea from here [thedailywtf.com] .

Re:When you buttume ... (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297199)

Yes, acknowledged at the link in my comment :-)

("The Clbuttic Mistake [thedailywtf.com] " on thedailywtf.com.)

Only Windows, only IE (4, Interesting)

bugbeak (711163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293607)

From the article: "One blogger posted a screenshot of the software purportedly blocking an attempt to visit a porn site using Microsoft's Internet Explorer. But, he said, there was no problem accessing the site using the Firefox web browser. "

Latest news: Firefox to be renamed in China (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294667)

FireFucks.

Re:Only Windows, only IE (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296833)

That could essentially be a good thing. If you're using IE on Windows to browse the web, you need all the protection you could possibly get. After all, you explicitly showed that you have no idea about security or any concern about it...

american warrantless (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293729)

data mining and wiretaps found still patriotastic and OKAY for your computer and facebook...film at 11.

It's a big country (1)

Vault_of_Thrones (1385751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293733)

China: home to the largest population and now also the largest botnet.

Re:It's a big country (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294143)

China: home to the largest population and now also the largest botnet.

The Chinese concentrate activity by areas. Geographically speaking then, where is the Village of the Spammed?

Re:It's a big country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296047)

now also the largest buttnet

Re:It's a big country (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296305)

That assumes they weren't the largest botnet before now.

Re:It's a big country (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296871)

A huge step forwards. So far, they only controlled the largest botnets.

Elephant (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28293893)

Excuse me, and no offense to the submitter of this story; But since when did the question begin to revolve around the security issues with the actual program the government uses to control your webhabits and not the actual attempt to control free speech?

I know, we are geeks and we like to talk about this stuff, but let's not forget the elephant in the room here.

Re:Elephant (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296963)

Being "secure" would not make the whole thing any better, it would still be a huge blow against freedom of speech (despite the lack thereof in China anyway) and the freedom of the net. But it raises another concern that our govermnemts might take into account before pulling a similar crapstunt (I'm fairly sure they have something like this planned already. Freedom of speech ain't just a threat to governments in China...).

Whenever you mandate some software to be installed, especially if this software is to offer connections to the outside world or is to communicate with a server, you open a security hole in a system. Worse, one that the user is not informed about and cannot plug because he is required to keep it open.

are US computers built in China safe? (2, Interesting)

wiredpasture (975693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293907)

Ok, so it's a pretty ham-handed first attempt. My question is: with all the US computer companies outsourcing to China, will my US PC or Apple eventually be affected? Perhaps we should stop buying US PCs made in China.

U.N. Declaration of Rights (2, Interesting)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28293915)

"As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."

  Pravin Lal, Alpha Centauri

It's not supposed to work (4, Informative)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294065)

After spending a number of years living/working in China, I've come to the conclusion that the government just doesn't care if this new "feature" works or not. The goal isn't to really censor here, but to let people know that "the man" is watching. In China, that is enough to keep the vast majority of people in line. There are still tens (perhaps hundreds) of millions of people that have vivid memories of the Cultural Revolution. They know all too well what happens to the squeaky wheel and tailor their activities accordingly. Sad, but that's the way it is.

Re:It's not supposed to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294765)

you don't have to go back that far. just go back 20 years is enough.

Re:It's not supposed to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296193)

Sadly, the events of 20 years ago are almost unknown by most Chinese.

Re:It's not supposed to work (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297099)

20 years ago are almost unknown by most Chinese.

And going by all the hagiographies of Reagan floating around, the events of 20 years ago are unknown by most Americans.

Re:It's not supposed to work (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297115)

Is it much different in the so called 'free world'?

How many people remember the Commie craze in the 50s (and the years after, to a lesser degree)? How many dare to speak their mind on "touchy" subjects when they know that mob justice isn't as much a thing of the past as we wish it to be? That's not the government? Well, technically right, but how often do you see religious fanatics (I'm not talking about the Muslim kind here, ok?) being charged for the damage they do to various places and people that they deem 'sinful'?

A local animal rights group dared to go against a large clothing chain, and their members were arrested. Never charged with anything, just arrested for as long as they can be detained without charges (they were just accused of 'forming a criminal gang' or similar, without a proper definition of just what kind of crime they were supposed to commit), then everything was dropped.

Welcome to the free world, comrade. You're free to do as we tell you.

Green Dam lays ground for the worlds biggest (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294169)

Government controlled botnet! A technological "Cultural Revolution" seems to be the obvious goal, under the guise of Greater Good and "thinking about the children".

But if the EU mandates it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28294487)

"While the justification may be pitched as protecting children and mostly concerning pornography, once the architecture is set up it can be used for broader purposes, such as the filtering of political ideas."
In particular, the system could be used to report citizens' web habits.
"It creates log file of all of the pages that the users tries to access," Mr Maclay told BBC News.
"At the moment it's unclear whether that is reported back, but it could be."


The EU's data retention directives already mandate that ISPs log such things. And then it is a good thing??!!

Spyware Puts Computers At Risk (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294689)

Spyware Puts Computers At Risk

I nominate this for the most awesome headline ever.

mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28295153)

house.^.. pathetic. JOIN THE GNAA!! OS I do, b3cause conversations where

Probably easier ways to do it... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28295167)

...but is the Chinese government just creating their own personal, huge botnet to use in DDOS attacks in the CYBERWARS OF THE FUTURE?

Re:Probably easier ways to do it... (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28295295)

It's all good, i bet storm and conficker were NSA test projects.

I have no problem with Big Brother... (2, Funny)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28295947)

...it's the lack of encryption that really bothers me. After all, that could let some unknown party watch what I'm doing online!

shame on you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296085)

shhhhhhhh... don't tell em.

TROLJLKORE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296149)

of HIV a8d other benefits of being

Calling Super China Coders (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296181)

It seems that China sent all of their super coders to participate in the NSA challenge, and they left the apprentices back at home writing the domestic software.

No Linux? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296211)

I don't want to sound like a troll, but considering all the oppressive crap we see coming out of China, it seems pretty petty to whine that their mandatory web filter software does not have a Linux version (or Mac)...Now if you want to talk about why China is so Microsoft-friendly, that one thing, but when someone installs a mandatory net nanny on a cheaply assembled PC and connects to a watered down approximation of the internet, where one thing internet users do best, "bitch about stuff", could possibly get them arrested, the inability to run Linux is not their biggest problem.

It *was* encrypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296649)

But it won't be much longer, thanks to drawing their attention to it.

Great moments in brand equity (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297375)

Microsoft must be so proud.

Easy to Beat (2, Informative)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 5 years ago | (#28297661)

Step 1: Install Virtual PC, or other VM Software
Step 2: Install the Mandatory Software INSIDE the VM
Step 3: Leave the VM running in the background and never touch it

mogd down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28298655)

An2d i7s long term

bbc.co.uk says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28299243)

"Others have reported that the system only runs on Microsoft Windows, allowing Mac and Linux users to bypass the software. "

thats pretty cool i.m.h.o.

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