Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Technical Analysis of the Chinese 'Green Dam Youth-Escort' Censorship Software

Green Dam is the informal name given to the expert system from Jinhui Technologies which blocks pornographic images and other "harmful" information.

Stated features: To protect minors from age 10-16 through the filtering of pornographic and violent images and content.

Latent features: To filter political content? To filter circumvention software (such as Wujie)?

Green Dam controls the time minors spend online, using QQ or MSN, and playing games; by preventing overindulgence of the Internet, Green Dam effectively eliminates Internet addiction.

Following evaluation, three applications, XDaemon.exe, XNet2.exe and gn.exe, can be seen to be protecting one another, preventing each process from being deleted or interrupted, a kind of technique used by malware...

Testing has shown that if any word resembling "Falun Gong" is entered into either Notepad or WordPad, the application will shut down; however, typing the same characters into Paint or MSN Messenger bears no response, illustrating the incompleteness of the the program.

It seems that nearly all text editors on the market (EditPlus, UltraEdit, EmEditor), office software suites (WPS, MS Office), e-mail clients, instant messaging clients and browsers, are being monitored.

The Green Dam censorship/spy software is mandated to be installed on all Chinese personal computers sold as of July 1, 2009.

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