More holes open up in Green Dam Youth Escort

US firm claims China stole its filters


A US software firm claims that China's already infamous Green Dam Youth Escort censorship software has liberally lifted code from its own cyber-filtering product.

Solid Oak Software of Santa Barbara claims that the Green Dam package - which Beijing has declared must be installed on all PCs shipped in the People's Republic as part of its great battle against foreign filth - incorporates code from its own Cybersitter program.

The allegedly lifted code includes blacklists and update instructions, as well as a news update file dating back to 2004.

Solid Oak is seeking an injunction against the Chinese developer of Green Dam, Jinhui Computer System Engineering Inc, but its chances of gaining satisfaction must be reckoned to be fairly slim.

So, it's no surprise it is also seeking injunctions against US PC vendors who follow Beijing's directive that any machines they ship in China must carry the software.

"They are stealing proprietary copyrighted material from us, sending it over to the US and saying, 'We want this on all the computers you send us'," Solid Oak president Brian Milburn told Reuters. "Just because we are a small company doesn't make the theft of CyberSitter any less [wrong]."

Milburn told Reuters he had been tipped off via an anonymous email. "We found actual proprietary code areas within the Green Dam program itself which are incredibly suspicious because they use our proprietary encryption methods. There's a lot more to it than just a list of bad words."

Jinhui boss Bryan Zhang told a local paper: "That's impossible."

The code spat is the latest controversy to engulf Green Dam. The launch of the software last week was seen as a thinly-veiled attempt at further political censorship. Researchers quickly claimed to have found flaws which could allow the software to be used to create a giant botnet, sparking even quicker claims that this would be exactly what Beijing wants.

Other tests showed that the software was configured to block political material as well as smut, with Falun Gong and other political terms built into the software, along with mechanisms to stop Chinese using proxy servers to get round the country's Great Firewall. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • China 'must seize TSMC' if the US were to impose sanctions
    So says Chinese economist, but it wouldn't achieve much if Taiwan destroyed its fabs first

    China should seize Taiwan to gain control of TSMC if the United States and its allies impose sanctions against the Middle Kingdom like those now in place against Russia, according to a prominent Chinese economist.

    The move follows the suggestion last year out of the US that Taiwan should be prepared to destroy its semiconductor factories if China were to invade.

    This latest development comes in a speech by Chen Wenling, chief economist for the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, delivered at the China-US Forum hosted by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China at the end of May. The text of the speech was posted to the Guancha (Observer) online news site.

    Continue reading
  • Former chip research professor jailed for not disclosing Chinese patents
    This is how Beijing illegally accesses US tech, say Feds

    The former director of the University of Arkansas’ High Density Electronics Center, a research facility that specialises in electronic packaging and multichip technology, has been jailed for a year for failing to disclose Chinese patents for his inventions.

    Professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang was in 2020 indicted for wire fraud and passport fraud, with the charges arising from what the US Department of Justice described as a failure to disclose “ties to companies and institutions in China” to the University of Arkansas or to the US government agencies for which the High Density Electronics Center conducted research under contract.

    At the time of the indictment, then assistant attorney general for national security John C. Demers described Ang’s actions as “a hallmark of the China’s targeting of research and academic collaborations within the United States in order to obtain U.S. technology illegally.” The DoJ statement about the indictment said Ang’s actions had negatively impacted NASA and the US Air Force.

    Continue reading
  • TikTok US traffic defaults to Oracle Cloud, Beijing can (allegedly) still have a look
    Alibaba hinted the gig was worth millions each year

    The US arm of Chinese social video app TikTok has revealed that it has changed the default location used to store users' creations to Oracle Cloud's stateside operations – a day after being accused of allowing its Chinese parent company to access American users' personal data.

    "Today, 100 percent of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure," the company stated in a post dated June 18.

    "For more than a year, we've been working with Oracle on several measures as part of our commercial relationship to better safeguard our app, systems, and the security of US user data," the post continues. "We still use our US and Singapore datacenters for backup, but as we continue our work we expect to delete US users' private data from our own datacenters and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US."

    Continue reading
  • Whatever hit the Moon in March, it left this weird double crater
    NASA probe reveals strange hole created by suspected Chinese junk

    Pic When space junk crashed into the Moon earlier this year, it made not one but two craters on the lunar surface, judging from images revealed by NASA on Friday.

    Astronomers predicted a mysterious object would hit the Moon on March 4 after tracking the debris for months. The object was large, and believed to be a spent rocket booster from the Chinese National Space Administration's Long March 3C vehicle that launched the Chang'e 5-T1 spacecraft in 2014.

    The details are fuzzy. Space agencies tend to monitor junk closer to home, and don't really keep an eye on what might be littering other planetary objects. It was difficult to confirm the nature of the crash; experts reckoned it would probably leave behind a crater. Now, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has spied telltale signs of an impact at the surface. Pictures taken by the probe reveal an odd hole shaped like a peanut shell on the surface of the Moon, presumably caused by the Chinese junk.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022