back to article China wants parental control of all PCs

The Chinese government is ordering all computer makers to include a version of parental control software with every machine sold within China. From 1 July all PC makers must either pre-load porn-restricting software onto machines or include a CD. The software goes by the slightly-pornographic name of "Green Dam-Youth Escort" …

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RW
Boffin

What about Linux?

If it's a CD of Windows software included with a Linux machine, does that satisfy this rule?

Or are Chinese citizens even allowed to use Linux?

China is really a very interesting country, full of startling contrasts. They're a very sexy people - why else would their population be so large? But historically and even now, they're also very prudish.

In his famous book "Plant Hunting on the Eaves of the World", Reginald Farrer remarked in passing on the difficulty he and his companion William Purdom had finding a sufficiently secluded place along a river bank to go bathing, where they couldn't be seen naked by the locals and thereby offend them.

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It'll never work

Much like the american legislation of the 'v-chip' a chip that allows parental lockout via some teletext-esque signal in the blanking period, it'll remain unused by most parents (often unaware of it's existence) and circumvented by many kids, who usually know more about tech anyway.

Blacklisting is usually unsustainable anyway, grot sites pop up quicker than they can block them. Most chinese youths are probably wise enough to use dns etc to circumvent the present firewall of china.

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@RW

Quite possibly:

http://www.redflag-linux.com/

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bureaucrats

You forgot to mention that the software is only available for Microsoft Windows. Either this means that Microsoft has just managed to pull of a coup of major proportions by having a country require, by law, that people use their operating system, or it means that a bureaucrat has yet again seriously fucked up.

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What is the hang up so many people have with porn?

I just don't get it. Its ok for kids to pretend to bludgeon each others brains out with a club on some MMORG or shooting platoons of people with ray guns in some sci fi shooter - but god forbid that they should see a naked woman (or man)! Gasp! Oh no! The whole fabric of society will collapse and the kiddies will be scared for life!

Newflash idiots - most kids get to see porn one way or another and parents should be a damn sight more worried about violence in films or rap album lyrics or even the TV news than just them seeing a naked human body which oddly enough they do every time they take a bath anyway!

I swear that the morality and judgement of a large majority of people worldwide are just so completely screwed up it beggers belief.

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Unhappy

@RW re. What about Linux?

"..Or are Chinese citizens even allowed to use Linux?.."

You obviously don't know about Red Flag Linux.

"..They're a very sexy people - why else would their population be so large?.."

You don't make babies by being sexy, you make babies by having sex enough times at the right time. Do you believe that the people of Monaco are not very 'sexy' because their population is so small?

Why did you use the 'expert' icon?

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provide or use?

Is it going to be compulsory for users to use this software, or just compulsory for PC sellers to provide it?

The fact that the sellers can either pre-install it or provide a CD with the PC suggests it is only going to be the provision that is required, not that the users must install (or keep installed) the software.

Steve.

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Joke

@Boltar

If young people are found looking at themselves in the mirror while not wearing clothes they are probably liable to arrest for

Supplying indecent images of minors.

Looking at indecent images of minors.

Being a peeping tom

etc...

Heaven forbid they actually use their camera phone to get a picture of that pimple on the arse they can't quite get in the right position to see in the mirror.

Reminds me of watching Crocodile Dundee on the Beeb.

In the movie Mick Dundee goes around hitting people for swearing in front of ladies. Swearing isn't allowed before the "watershed" but lots of kids want to see the film. Answer, remove all the swearing. You are now left with a film where the hero goes around beating people up for no reason at all. Which is considered OK by the censors. Where as Mick had good reason to beat them up according to his own morality, which isn't a 100miles for that which most men in this country over the age of 40ish were probably brought up with (you just don't swear in front of ladies!)

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Go

If doable - it seems ok to me

A family PC is a family PC and if one wishes to take parental interest and control of said PC it seems fine & dandy

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Boffin

@RW

"They're a very sexy people - why else would their population be so large?"

Um, because their geography is so immensely gigantic?

According to Wolfram Alpha, China's population density is 140 people/sq. mile, ranking them 79th out of 238 countries, well below the median of 199 p/m2 and just a hair above the mean of 133 p/m2. Not exactly overpopulated.

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What's not clear...

...is whether the user has control of the parental controls. In other words, can users disable it, either for themselves (as with other parental control packages) or for the whole machine (either by software switch or by deinstalling it)?

It seems to me that too many people are jumping on this as a Big Brother issue. It may not be.

Clarification please, John.

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Anonymous Coward

Correct me if I am wrong here

Maybe I'm a bit wide of the mark but isn't China a communist country?

...and doesn't that mean that everyone there is employed by the state?

Does YOUR employer let you look at porn?

Do they let you hook up your own hardware to their system without a lot more being required than that you install some kind of web filter?

Web forwarding might be a vaild workaround.

..but then I like the straight forward approach - just not installing the software in the first place. If it comes preinstalled then just reinstall windows without the nasty filter.

Obviously Linux users won't need to worry!

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Red Flag

Yes, the fact that the software is only available at the moment for Windows does raise some questions, given that China had previously been encouraging Linux use, even having their own version of Linux.

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Black Helicopters

@What is the hang up so many people have with porn?

While some regular citizens share this hang up I don't believe its the majority. I think the problem lies with the rulers.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no fun in ruling people unless you get to tell them what NOT to do. Telling them what they CAN do is not so much fun; you have to tell them, nay, ORDER them to NOT do specific things.

And its no good telling them to not do something such as "Do not eat brussel sprouts" because they probably don't want to do that anyway. No, its much more satisfying to tell them not to do something that most of them do want to do; such as "Don't Look At Porn." Rulers have to justify their existence by Ruling. Its no fun otherwise.

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Happy

@don't swear in front of ladies!

Every gentleman knows you always let the lady swear first. Heaven knows, lots of the gents I have met give their lady friends plenty of reasons to swear :-)

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Colour me cynical, but...

... are we sure the only thing the software does in block sites? Wouldn't it be the perfect way for the government to plant keyloggers and back-doors on every PC?

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Pron

Even the ancient greeks and romans used pron.

In fact, the oldest cave paintings show people in the 'nuddie'

OMG!

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@Steven knox

Thats an over simplification. Your numbers dosent take into account the terrain of a country just the total area/Population which isent a good if any indication of over population. look at a country like Japan which is mostly mountains that arent suited for anything but to look pretty. There you have a area/pop that would say there is still pleanty of room for more people but in reality there aren´t. The same goes for China. China has wast areas of mountains and desert not suitable to sustain human life.

Why China has 1.3 billion people is a question that is too complex for any forum nerd to answer by looking as wikipedia or alphawhatsitsname.

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Alien

@ 'What is the hang up so many people have with porn?'

Short answer: The human race is clinically insane. (there is no justification where violence is acceptable and nudity is taboo).

Shorter answer: It's good to be the king (as someone above mentioned, you get to tell the citizens what they can't do, whilst indulging in it yourself - cf Waquie Jaquie and porn).

Answer 3: Divide and conquer. (The easiest way to maintain control is to keep the population dazed and confused - TV is the drug, nonsensical laws creates the confusion).

Read 'Down and out in London and Paris' by G Orwell, and 'The Trial' by Franz Kafka - which are both brilliant by the way.

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Joke

Well how about....

@Why China has 1.3 billion people is a question that is too complex for any forum nerd to answer by looking as wikipedia or alphawhatsitsname.

Not much on telly?

Brownouts (power failures)

FAETD? (you will get it eventually!!)

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Pirate

The Great Bot of China...

"Apart from the censorship issue, the update process would also create a tempting target for hackers. If a good proportion of China's PCs are all linking to one site for updates, then a malware creator could almost instantly create a vast botnet of compromised machines. "

According to a BBC story, it has taken just three days for this prediction to come true. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8094026.stm)

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