July 17, 2009

China going Green Dam is delayed!

30 June 2009. "On the eve of destruction, China has delayed Green Dam Day."

PC manufacturers who shipped computers to China were asked to pre-install Green Dam Youth Escort by 1 July 2009, on all new computers they sold in China. Now, Green Dam, as Wikipedia puts it, is a Content-control Software. Green Dam is developed by Jinhui Computer System Engineering Ltd for the People's Republic of China. China claims that Green Dam filters out pornographic content and the software is its attempt to protect young people from unwanted content. 

Filtering out Pornographic content in an attempt to protect young children? Are you kidding me? Everybody knows that Green Dam will download the list of prohibited sites and install it on the end user's computer. And everyone knows China's history of trying to control what their people are doing on-line. In a study conducted by Jonathan Zittarein and Benjamin Edelman of Harward Law School, in 2002, 126 sites blocked by Chinese Government were listed and none of them where pornographic sites. I know that was seven long years ago. But still it is hard to believe when Chinese Government says it is going to only filter "pornographic and violent content". Because I know that Companies like Google imposes self-censorship on themselves to comply with the Chinese Law. And I also know that the Great Fire Wall of China is not such an innocent thing.

What appears in Wikileaks about Green Dam tells us that there will be more filtering than just pornographic or violent content. For example, if Falun Gong is entered into a WordPad or NotePad or any other application, the application will shut down. For those of you who didn't have the time to click and read the links I have given, Falun Gong is a religion presently illegal in China. Tell me what kind of violence and sexually lewd thoughts can a religion like Falun Gong, which believes in "cultivation of virtue and character" spread? This tells us that Green Dam is more about unfair Government Censorship than Chinese Governments' Concern for its Young People. 

On 30 June 2009, Chinese Government announced that it postponed its ultimatum to the PC Manufacturers about Green Dam. Though Chinese Government has not accepted it yet, journalists say it is due to US Pressure.  China says the delay is only because 'some computer manufacutrers need more time.' 

As that was happening, Chinese people vehemently mocked Government Censorship. Pictures of the Green Dam Girl is doing her rounds on the internet. A Chinese Blogger called Hecaitou pokes fun at the Government of China for this mindless cowardice, through this cartoon character. The Green Dam Girl in uniform, drawn in Manga style, wearing a Police Cap emblazoned with a Crab, holding the Green Dam Logo "Rabbit", makes fun of the Chinese Government's idea of a 'harmonious society'. We are also told that young people partied to express their happiness when the Chinese Government announced the delay. 

RConversation reports how Chinese people scorn the software. RConversation published what people wrote as a feedback to the manufacturer of the Software. I found that one of them wrote "Today, a teacher posted  an exam question which talks about 'students playing touch-ball game'. The word document was shut down."  Now, closing a Word Document because the word 'touch' was typed? Give me a break, China!

Wikipedia reports that Green Dam has a photo filter which uses skin colour to assume the nature of the photographs. It filtered out the image of pigs because the colour of their skin is pink. I can't help but laugh at this.

Everyone knows it is not entirely about pornography and violence. Some say it works as spyware. I am told that the software sends screenshots to the Software Manufacturer if people try and access any of the banned sites. I am told applications close down if people type banned words or phrases. And it is not just sexually explicit words that are banned from the look of things. 

Green Dam is about a State that is not willing to give its people access to information. Thought Policing is a crime, a crime on humanity. 

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