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Protesting China’s Required Censorship Software

dinoyum writes “Censorship in China is nothing new, but the level of action taken to force Chinese citizens to comply has garnered global recognition. China marked the date July 1st, 2009 as the day manufacturers will be forced to install filtering software on all new PCs. While many have resorted to digitally lashing out against Green Dam, Chinese artist and designer of the famous Bird’s Nest at the Beijing Olympics, Ai Weiwei has decided upon a different approach. ‘[He wants] a general internet strike — no work, no games, no email or anything else online — for 24 hours on the date the government plans to require censorship software on all new computers, he says, will be a quiet act of rebellion. Not coincidentally, July 1 is the 88th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. Though he posted the idea, Ai wants to leave the meaning to those who participate. “I gave almost no explanation about why I’m doing it,” Ai said. “I just give the structure and people will fill in their own meaning. I don’t want to be political first. I wanted to set up an act that everyone can easily accept, and then realize the power later. I want people to see their own power,” he said.'”

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Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Protesting China’s Required Censorship Software

Why China’s Internet Plan May Backfire

The mandatory requirement that all computers sold in China carry security software has caused a stir among Chinese Internet users. Officially, the purpose of the Green Dam-Youth Escort software is to shield kids from online pornography, but most China watchers expect Beijing to use the program to block access to…

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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Why China’s Internet Plan May Backfire

Google Suggest Disabled In China Due To Porn

I Don’t Believe in Imaginary Property writes “The Chinese government has asked Google to disable Google Suggest because it has been suggesting that people search for pornography based on its analysis of the most popular search terms in China. This comes on the heels of a fake CCTV interview being used to support the government requirement that all new computers ship with the ‘Green Damn’ Internet censoring program, which is still in force, despite reports to the contrary.” The story on the chinaSMACK site demonstrates that Chinese search engine Baidu features a comparable search-suggestion function, which similarly recommends adult-themed sites, but that the government has not attacked Baidu over the issue of porn.

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Sunday, June 21st, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Google Suggest Disabled In China Due To Porn

Google Hustles to Meet China’s Porn-Blocking Demands


Google has stepped up its efforts to fight Internet pornography in China, following Beijing’s move on Friday to block some Chinese-language results delivered by its search engine. “We are undertaking a thorough review of our service and taking all necessary steps to fix any problem with our results,” Google spokesperson Scott Rubin told TechNewsWorld. The Web search giant needs to get cracking. Chinese authorities have warned they may take further action depending on Google’s response.

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Friday, June 19th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Google Hustles to Meet China’s Porn-Blocking Demands

China’s Green Dam, No Longer Compulsory, May Have Lifted Code

LionMage writes “Much has been made previously of how China’s Green Dam software must be installed on all new PCs in China, and of more recent revelations that the software may create exploitable security vulnerabilities or even provide the Chinese government with a ready-made botnet to use for potentially nefarious purposes. (One of those prior articles even discusses how Green Dam incorporates blacklists from CyberSitter.) Now the BBC is reporting that Solid Oak’s CyberSitter software may have had more than just a compiled blacklist lifted from it. Solid Oak is claiming that actual pieces of their code somehow ended up in Green Dam. From PC Magazine’s article: ‘Solid Oak Software, the developer of CyberSitter, claims that the look and feel of the GUI used by Green Dam mimics the style of CyberSitter. But more damning, chief executive Brian Milburn said, was the fact that the Green Dam code uses DLLs identified with the CyberSitter name, and even makes calls back to Solid Oak’s servers for updates.'” Relatedly, reader Spurious Logic writes that Green Dam won’t be mandatory after all, according to an unnamed official with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on China’s Green Dam, No Longer Compulsory, May Have Lifted Code

NSA Ill-Suited For Domestic Cybersecurity Role

Hugh Pickens writes “Former CIA counterterrorism analyst Stephen Lee has an interesting article in the Examiner asserting that the National Security Agency is ‘a secretive, hidebound culture incapable of keeping up with innovation,’ with a history of disregard for privacy and civil liberties. Lee says that for most of its sixty-year history, the NSA has been geared to cracking telecom and crypto gear produced by Soviet and Chinese design bureaus, but at the end of the cold war became ‘stymied by new-generation Western-engineered telephone networks and mobile technologies that were then spreading like wildfire in the developing world and former Soviet satellite countries.’ When the NSA finally recognized that it needed to get better at innovation, it launched several mega-projects, tagged like ‘Trailblazer’ and ‘Groundbreaker,’ that have been spectacular failures, costing US taxpayers billions. More recently, the NY Times reported that the NSA has been breaking rules set by the Obama administration to peer even more aggressively into American citizens’ phone traffic and email inboxes. Whistleblower reports portray NSA domestic eavesdropping programs as unprofessional and poorly supervised, with intercept technicians ridiculing and mishandling recordings of citizens’ private ‘pillow talk’ conversations. Lee concludes that ‘if the Federal government must play a role, then Congress and President Obama should turn to another agency without a record of creating mistrust — perhaps even a new entity. Meanwhile, NSA should focus on listening in on America’s enemies, instead of being an enemy of Americans and their enterprises.'”

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Friday, June 12th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on NSA Ill-Suited For Domestic Cybersecurity Role

NSA Ill-Suited For Domestic Cybersecurity Role

Hugh Pickens writes “Former CIA counterterrorism analyst Stephen Lee has an interesting article in the Examiner asserting that the National Security Agency is ‘a secretive, hidebound culture incapable of keeping up with innovation,’ with a history of disregard for privacy and civil liberties. Lee says that for most of its sixty-year history, the NSA has been geared to cracking telecom and crypto gear produced by Soviet and Chinese design bureaus, but at the end of the cold war became ‘stymied by new-generation Western-engineered telephone networks and mobile technologies that were then spreading like wildfire in the developing world and former Soviet satellite countries.’ When the NSA finally recognized that it needed to get better at innovation, it launched several mega-projects, tagged like ‘Trailblazer’ and ‘Groundbreaker,’ that have been spectacular failures, costing US taxpayers billions. More recently, the NY Times reported that the NSA has been breaking rules set by the Obama administration to peer even more aggressively into American citizens’ phone traffic and email inboxes. Whistleblower reports portray NSA domestic eavesdropping programs as unprofessional and poorly supervised, with intercept technicians ridiculing and mishandling recordings of citizens’ private ‘pillow talk’ conversations. Lee concludes that ‘if the Federal government must play a role, then Congress and President Obama should turn to another agency without a record of creating mistrust — perhaps even a new entity. Meanwhile, NSA should focus on listening in on America’s enemies, instead of being an enemy of Americans and their enterprises.'”

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Friday, June 12th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on NSA Ill-Suited For Domestic Cybersecurity Role

NSA Ill-Suited For Domestic Cybersecurity Role

Hugh Pickens writes “Former CIA counterterrorism analyst Stephen Lee has an interesting article in the Examiner asserting that the National Security Agency is ‘a secretive, hidebound culture incapable of keeping up with innovation,’ with a history of disregard for privacy and civil liberties. Lee says that for most of its sixty-year history, the NSA has been geared to cracking telecom and crypto gear produced by Soviet and Chinese design bureaus, but at the end of the cold war became ‘stymied by new-generation Western-engineered telephone networks and mobile technologies that were then spreading like wildfire in the developing world and former Soviet satellite countries.’ When the NSA finally recognized that it needed to get better at innovation, it launched several mega-projects, tagged like ‘Trailblazer’ and ‘Groundbreaker,’ that have been spectacular failures, costing US taxpayers billions. More recently, the NY Times reported that the NSA has been breaking rules set by the Obama administration to peer even more aggressively into American citizens’ phone traffic and email inboxes. Whistleblower reports portray NSA domestic eavesdropping programs as unprofessional and poorly supervised, with intercept technicians ridiculing and mishandling recordings of citizens’ private ‘pillow talk’ conversations. Lee concludes that ‘if the Federal government must play a role, then Congress and President Obama should turn to another agency without a record of creating mistrust — perhaps even a new entity. Meanwhile, NSA should focus on listening in on America’s enemies, instead of being an enemy of Americans and their enterprises.'”

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Friday, June 12th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on NSA Ill-Suited For Domestic Cybersecurity Role

Is China Creating the World’s Largest Botnet Army?

david_a_eaves writes “The Chinese government is mandating that all computers sold in China come with Internet blocking software. Rob Cottingham writes an excellent piece noting how the censorship application of this software should be the least of our concerns. This new software may create an opportunity for the Chinese Government to appropriate these computers and use them to create the worlds largest botnet army.”

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Thursday, June 11th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Is China Creating the World’s Largest Botnet Army?

Chinese Govt Spyware Puts Computers At Risk

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.

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Thursday, June 11th, 2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Chinese Govt Spyware Puts Computers At Risk