Chinese Regime Cuts Funding to ‘Green Dam’ DevelopersThe controversial Green Dam Youth Escort Internet-filtering software is said to be facing a tough budget crisis. The Beijing project office has already shut down and the Zhengzhou office may soon follow.
In June 2009, the PRC’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released a controversial mandate that Green Dam be installed on all new personal computers sold in China.
According to the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC), Green Dam does not effectively block pornographic contents, as was its intended purpose, but rather, it blocks human rights related websites, particularly targeting those relating to Falun Gong.
GIFC includes Dynamic Internet Technology (DIT), UltraReach Internet Corp., Garden Networks for Freedom of Information, and World’s Gate, Inc.
The July 13 issue of Jinghua Times explains that Green Dam Youth Escort is a combination of two software products: Green Dam, by Jinhui Computer System Engineering in Zhengzhou, and Youth Escort, by Dazheng Human Language Technology Academy in Beijing.
Dazheng’s general manager, Chen Xiaomeng, said that the project office located at Huajie Mansion in Beijing has been closed since June and that nearly 30 employees were let go.
Chen claimed that the reason for the closure was lack of operating expenses. However, according to some Chinese news media, there are 20 million users of Green Dam.
Fifteen days before Green Dam was officially launched in 2009, GIFC launched its Green Tsunami software, which was designed to detect and defeat Green Dam.
The CEO of DIT, Bill Xia, said the Chinese regime’s Green Dam mandate was a dictatorial move that violates the right to know of people in mainland China.
Despite its self-claimed 40 million yuan research-and-development cost, Green Dam is actually very weak. Xia said, “It took only a few days for some colleagues from GIFC to develop a counter measure.”
GIFC breaks down Green Dam’s keywords filtering function into two groups: One group contains 2,700 pornographic phrases. The other group contains 6,500 non-pornographic words.
Within the second group of keywords, the vast majority are related to Falun Gong, while the rest link to other human rights issues, including Tibet. In fact, the pornographic blocking rate of the software is less than 10 percent.
On June 11, 2009, J. Alex Halderman, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, along with two other researchers, published “Analysis of the Green Dam Censorware System.”
The analysis concluded that Green Dam is “vulnerable” and “allows remote parties to execute arbitrary code and take control of the computer.” The report also states that “a number of these blacklists have been taken from the American-made filtering program CyberSitter.”
According to a PC World Report, on Jan. 5, CyberSitter filed a US$2.2 billion lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division. The lawsuit was filed against the Chinese communist regime, the two software makers of Green Dam, and seven major computer manufacturers.
CyberSitter alleges that Green Dam illegally copied more than 3,000 lines of code from its filtering software. It was also stated that Green Dam software illegally prevents Chinese people from accessing some political and religious sites.
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