Feeds

Chinese Green Dam pilfers open source too

No filth, no BSD license

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

After claims that China's "Green Dam" filtering app includes code pirated from an American software maker, it should come as no surprise that the People's Republic censorshipware is also using open-source code without displaying the proper license.

According to multiple coders at Sourceforge, the Green Dam Youth Escort package - which the Chinese government wants loaded onto all PCs sold within the People's Republic - includes code from the OpenCV computer vision library. But its developer - Jinhui Computer System Engineering - seems to have deleted the BSD license document that should be included when OpenCV code is reused.

"It can be observed that Green Dam uses OpenCV's Haar classifier in undergoing human face detection. Included with Green Dam [are] cximage.dll, CImage.dll, xcore.dll and Xcv.dll, also library files from OpenCV," reads a post from one developer. "This all suggests that Green Dam primarily uses OpenCV to process images. However, as is done with much of domestic Chinese software, Green Dam has disregarded OpenCV's BSD license."

Meanwhile, US software maker Solid Oak is seeking injunctions against Jinhui Computer System Engineering and US-based PC manufacturers that may ship the software under orders from Beijing. Solid Oak claims that Green Dam code uses DLLs tagged with the name of its CyberSitter application and actually makes calls back to Solid Oak servers.

According to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan, Green Dam also includes security vulnerabilities that would allow any website visited to take control of the user's PC.

Green Dam works to identify images, text, and urls visited by net surfers, and if they match blacklisted items, they're blocked. According to The New York Times, the Chinese government is demanding that the software be loaded on all new machines starting July 1. The package is called Green Dam because Beijing likes to associate a filth-free internet with greenness. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.