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Security Your Rights Online

Chinese Govt Spyware Puts Computers At Risk 110

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the big-brother-speaks-mandarin dept.
Ihmhi writes "China's mandatory 'Green Dam Youth Escort' web filter software apparently has a series of severe flaws. In addition to not working on Linux or MacOS, traffic between the software and its servers is unencrypted." I'm sure it only gets better after that.
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Chinese Govt Spyware Puts Computers At Risk

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  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @09:17AM (#28293359)
    But filtering in China is done at a level independent of the computer. This adds another layer of "protection" and enforcement but isn't really the full filtering of the internet. Think of this like a porn blocker that blocks a few sites compared to the "Golden Shield" which blocks all references to anti-communist or different forms of communist ideals.
  • by BlueKitties (1541613) <bluekitties616@gmail.com> on Thursday June 11, 2009 @09:19AM (#28293383)
    The "mandatory" software these computers will be shipped with is no different than a VChip inside of all modern American TVs; it's a feature people may use, but are allowed to uninstall at their sole discretion. Besides, this stuff runs on Windows, it's just one more straw on the pile of ways to hijack an unprotected computer. We also choose a tool that doesn't run on Linux because we're sick of typing 'sudo apt-get install wine' everytime we install a new Linux distro. This assures minimal typing for all Chinese Linux users.
  • Elephant (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 11, 2009 @09:53AM (#28293893)

    Excuse me, and no offense to the submitter of this story; But since when did the question begin to revolve around the security issues with the actual program the government uses to control your webhabits and not the actual attempt to control free speech?

    I know, we are geeks and we like to talk about this stuff, but let's not forget the elephant in the room here.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @09:58AM (#28293965)
    It's mandated that it be sold with all new computers. It doesn't need to be installed, just supplied with the PC.

    Think of it as an AOL Free Trial CD. You remember, the free coaster they shipped.
  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @10:03AM (#28294065)

    After spending a number of years living/working in China, I've come to the conclusion that the government just doesn't care if this new "feature" works or not. The goal isn't to really censor here, but to let people know that "the man" is watching. In China, that is enough to keep the vast majority of people in line. There are still tens (perhaps hundreds) of millions of people that have vivid memories of the Cultural Revolution. They know all too well what happens to the squeaky wheel and tailor their activities accordingly. Sad, but that's the way it is.

  • TVs, in general, cannot be hijacked (BoTVnet?) The mentioned security concerns are reasons to push for improvements to the software, not as an excuse to defame a government for trying to give parents more tools to protect their children. Again, if you do not wish to use this software, please feel free to uninstall it -- it's only there for those who want to use it.
  • Easy to Beat (Score:3, Informative)

    by ironicsky (569792) on Thursday June 11, 2009 @01:32PM (#28297661) Journal

    Step 1: Install Virtual PC, or other VM Software
    Step 2: Install the Mandatory Software INSIDE the VM
    Step 3: Leave the VM running in the background and never touch it

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