China’s New Mandatory Censorware Creates Big Security Flaws | Freedom to Tinker

China’s New Mandatory Censorware Creates Big Security Flaws | Freedom to Tinker

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I don’t want this to be a political blog, but when I saw the controversy about a government requiring this Green Dam software to be installed on all PCs sold in China from July 1, I couldn’t help thinking what would happen if the Thai government tried such a thing.

I am surprised governments have not thought of this before. I have a sinking feeling that it is a coming trend and once the bugs are worked out it may be unavoidable. Very sad.

The British public accepted CCTV security cameras with scarcely a murmur in the cause of heightened public safety. It’s not a big leap to think that governments could convince people that PC monitoring software is essential protection. Think of it like seat belts and airbags for your car they could say.

Of course the ultimate aim is to build the infrastructure into the hardware. Any software solution can be hacked and circumvented.

I was interested in the short comment on how the software tries to detect nudity in the University of Michigan report. I quote:

The image filter  reportedly works by flagging images containing large
areas of human skin tone, while making an exception for close-ups
of faces.

It would be fascinating to test this thoroughly with different images and see what it blocks and what gets through. There’s much work here for underpaid grad students in universities around the world.

Which, kind of, brings this post back to the ostensible theme of this blog – photography.

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2 Responses to “China’s New Mandatory Censorware Creates Big Security Flaws | Freedom to Tinker”

  1. GB-in-TH Says:

    Looks like they have suspended the requirement for now. Surely there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes meeting that will probably never get reported.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/technology/01china.html?ref=technology

  2. China Scales Back Plans for Software Filter – NYTimes.com « Bkkphotographer's Blog Says:

    […] wrote back in June about the Chinese Government’s order to manufacturers to put “Green Dam/Youth […]

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