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Friday, November 06, 2009

Green Dam Youth Escort : What's that?

1. The title suggests that it has got something to do with college unions doing thier bit contribution in saving some water or fighting over some water dam issue.But its nothing like that.It is the name of a firewall which is a first of its kind official government imposed content-control software developed in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Under a directive from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) , it is mandatory to have either the software, or its setup files accompanied on a compact disc or pre-installed on all new personal computers sold in mainland China, including those imported from abroad. 

2. The firewall software is to be made a mandatory pre-requisite for new computers sold in the country, as a meaure to help stamp out pornography and other vile elements on the Web. The move thus has been widely criticised by industry groups and officials as rash, politically intrusive, technically ineffective and commercially unfair.Few of the features of the software are enumerated below :

  • Designed to work with Microsoft Windows operating systems,the software is specifically aimed at restricting online pornography but could be used for other purposes.
  • Green Dam Youth Escort automatically downloads the latest updates of a list of prohibited sites from an online database, and also collects private user data. 
  • Green Dam recognizes pornographic images by analyzing skin-coloured regions, complemented by human face recognition. The software is incapable of recognizing pictures of nudity featuring black- or red-skinned characters but sensitive enough to images with large patches of yellow that it censors promotional images of the film Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. 
  • The software's misrecognition of "inappropriate contents" in applications including Microsoft Word can lead it to forcefully close those applications without notifying the user, and so cause data losses.
  • The software runs only on Microsoft Windows x86, so Microsoft Windows x86-64, Mac and Linux users are ignored. Even on Microsoft Windows, the software is known to interfere with Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, and is incompatible with Mozilla Firefox.
  • Some computers sold in China already come with parental-control software, but it isn't government-mandated.
3. The latest good news for the chinese people is that for the time being the compulory shipping and installation by the user has been put on hold.

4. Thanks and off course wiki like always!!!!


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