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Chinese Regime Seeks to Control Every Chinese Computer

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http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/18196/

Chinese Regime Seeks to Control Every Chinese Computer
Green Dam software censors and monitors individual computers; Falun Gong targeted
By Tianliang Zhang
Epoch Times Staff Jun 16, 2009

In George Orwell’s novel 1984, “Big Brother” watches everything any citizen does. If the Chinese communist regime succeeds in imposing new filtering software on China’s computer users, thoroughgoing high-tech surveillance of computer users will become a reality.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology plans to require that as of July 1, every personal computer should be shipped with preinstalled software called “Green Dam-Youth Escort” to censor “harmful” information.

Whenever the communist regime is accused of censorship, it always justifies its intention with the need to control pornography. When interviewed by CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 2000 on why certain Web sites, including BBC and The Washington Post, were blocked, Jiang Zemin, the former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), told Mike Wallace, “We hope people will learn a lot of useful things from the Internet. However, sometimes there is also unhealthy material—especially pornography on the Internet—which does great harm to our youngsters.”

Wallace immediately pointed out that the BBC and The Washington Post sites did not have pornography. Jiang said, “They might be banned because of some of their political news reports. We need to be selective.”

Things have not improved after eight years. Nowadays, the CCP’s real attitude on pornography and “some of their [Western media’s] political news reports” can be seen in a Telegraph article from July 28, 2008. Although the CCP had promised to lift Internet censorship during the Olympic Games, the Telegraph reported, “Competitors staying in the Beijing Olympics athletes village will be able to purchase a wide variety of soft pornography—but Web sites such as the BBC Chinese news page are still banned.”

Jiang Mianheng, Jiang Zemin’s oldest son, said in a conference in Shanghai in June 2000, “China must build a national network that is independent of the Internet.” Under his direction, on April 25, 2001, the State Council approved the Golden Shield Project. With cooperation from giant telecom vendors such as Cisco and Nortel, the Great Firewall was established as a part of the Golden Shield Project.

The Great Firewall might better be described as the “Information Berlin Wall,” whose sole purpose is to isolate the Internet in China from sensitive information. The most sophisticated Web filtering technology used by the Information Berlin Wall was also exported to other totalitarian or

authoritarian regimes, such as Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

The Information Berlin Wall resides between the international gateways, which is the only way for information to flow out of and into China. It blocks the traffic based on not only IP addresses, but also the content in the IP datagram. Therefore, sensitive words in a Web site can be detected and the Web site can automatically be blocked.

However, penetrating the Information Berlin Wall is possible. In recent years, various technologies that do so were developed by the Internet Freedom Consortium, which is affiliated with Falun Gong, a peaceful spiritual practice based on Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance that is severely persecuted by the Chinese regime.

The penetrating software uses P2P to dynamic IP technology to bypass the filtering based on IP addresses. It uses end-to-end encryption so that the content in the IP datagram can only be understood by the server and the client, and the Information Berlin Wall just sees garbled binary codes.

The penetrating software is so powerful and effective that the New York Times reported that it has become very popular in many countries where information filtering is imposed.

The CCP is certainly furious about the penetrating technology and, with Green Dam, seeks to move the filtering directly to the end-user’s computer. Green Dam can monitor the Web site you entered in your browser. Secondly, it captures the user’s screen every three minutes. No matter what encryption technology the user employs, as long as he inputs the Web site URL in his browser, he can be blocked. Whatever is visible to the end user is also visible to the monitoring software.

Testers in Canada, who have no problem accessing any Web site, are not able to access Web sites that carry human rights information after installing the Green Dam. If we compare the penetrating software to the short band wave of Voice of America, Green Dam is equivalent to installing a bug on your radio that can not only document when you listen to that channel, but can also automatically turn off your radio for you.

Green Dam is a spyware that records all your keystroke behavior. E-mail passwords, credit card information, or

whatever you input through the keyboard will be recorded, stored, and sent to a central database for the CCP’s use later. It can potentially read files on your hard drive and send the information to CCP agents. It also uses a large amount of CPU and memory resources and so makes the computer intolerably slow. It might also turn on the webcam and voice recorder so that the daily life of a citizen is also monitored without notice.

The sensitive word list reveals the main purpose of Green Dam. It is listed on the Web site of Beijing Dazheng Human Language Technology Academy Corporation, the developer of the Green Dam software. There are two lists. One is for words relating to pornography and the other is not. In the first list, there are 2,700 keywords, but in the second list, there are 6,500 words. The name of the second list is Falunwords.lib, which reveals that the list is of words relevant to Falun Gong.

Although Green Dam looks very dangerous and cannot be removed by uninstalling it, users can reformat the hard drive and install a clean operating system and drivers.

Green Dam reveals the following: The CCP’s main purpose is to target Falun Gong adherents and to try to block computer users from accessing uncensored information by means of penetrating software. The regime does this because it regards itself as so weak that it must treat each of its citizens as a potential enemy and put each one under surveillance.

Last Updated
Jun 16, 2009

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