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No piracy in porn-filtering software, says developer
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A notice issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has made the two developers of the "Green Dam-Youth Escort" software, Zhengzhou-based Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co. Ltd. and Beijing Dazheng Human Language Technology Academy Co., the most profitable software companies in China under the current financial crisis. Recently, however, the porn-filtering software has been accused of piracy by an overseas software company.

Jinhui refuted the accusation and said the so-called stolen portions identified by Solid Oak Software Inc., a California software company, were a list of suspected pornographic URL addresses rather than the architecture or programming code vital to the software.

The Green Dam accused of piracy

Recently, California-based Solid Oak Software Inc. alleged that the "Green Dam-Youth Escort" software pushed by the Chinese government contains parts of the code and an exact copy of the graphical interfaces of the company's CyberSitter filtering software. The news has triggered heated discussion among Chinese internet users.

According to Jinhui, however, the core of the Green Dam software rely on its image-filtering technology, while the database of the blocked sites serves as non-core content which can be collected on the Internet from URL addresses blacklisted by computer hackers. Jinhui expressed it would be ridiculous to be accused of copying those URL addresses without ownership.

Security vulnerabilities of the Green Dam

The MIIT earlier issued a notice urging all PCs sold domestically as of July 1 to come with porn-filtering software named "Green Dam-Youth Escort." According to the ministry, it is the international practice for governments to offer free net filters to the community. Green Dam, adopting content-filtering technology, would block any content harmful to juveniles such as pornography or violence, said Chen Ying, vice director of the ministry's Department of Software Service Industry.

However, media said the Green Dam software contains a series of security vulnerabilities, which, according to the developers, will be improved gradually in the future versions.

Currently, a way to crack the software has been found on Internet forums. "The method makes use of passwords vulnerability in the software," said a net user. "Its passwords file is easy to locate, and MD5 is not a perfect encryption method."

Chinese story link: http://www.nbd.com.cn/newshtml/20090616/2009061602521604.html

(China.org.cn by Li Xiao, June 16, 2009)

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