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WA_Garrett
June 11th, 2009, 02:31 AM
China has mandated that all personal computers sold in the country after July 1 would have to have Internet filtering software on the machine its self. According Jonathan Zittrain that type of software could be used as a surveillance tool, it could be used to access any file on someone's machine.

This got me thinking, since Linux is open source, it would certainly be possible to circumvent any sort of software like that on Linux by obtaining the source of a Linux distro and by compileing your own "clean" distro, or by just obtaining a distro with out the filtering software.

Therefore I would imagine that the Chinese government would want to "discourage" Linux use in their nation.

Thoughts?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105218256
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-china-censor10-2009jun10,0,1086571.story

CharmyBee
June 11th, 2009, 02:32 AM
I doubt it. They have distros like Red Flag Linux over there.

drawkcab
June 11th, 2009, 02:48 AM
it will be interesting to see how they try to implement this policy

it seems like one of those contradictory, counter-productive policies that would be a nightmare to implement and enforce

Dimitriid
June 11th, 2009, 03:03 AM
No need to ban linux, it will probably be offline only. From the sound of it they might use a propietary protocol but I hardly see the point as any security will eventually be defeated.

Sublime Porte
June 11th, 2009, 03:13 AM
This got me thinking, since Linux is open source, it would certainly be possible to circumvent any sort of software like that on Linux by obtaining the source of a Linux distro and by compileing your own "clean" distro, or by just obtaining a distro with out the filtering software.

If they didn't give you the source to the filtering software, and they wouldn't let you connect without the software (that's what the system sounds like it'd need to function) then it doesn't matter if your OS is open or closed source, you wouldn't be circumventing it like that.


I doubt it. They have distros like Red Flag Linux over there.

Isn't it "Little Red Book" Linux?

PupSpark
June 11th, 2009, 03:44 AM
What if they gave the ISP surveillance control, somehow?

Also, I think Red Flag Linux was a joke.

MikeTheC
June 11th, 2009, 03:48 AM
I have no idea how true any of this is. Nevertheless, this is China's responsibility and problem. Frankly, if they're stupid enough to do stuff like that, then they deserve all the negative consequences they've got coming to them.

Then again, I'll never understand why such a wise and ancient culture would have fallen for Communism in the first place, way back when. However, I see no reason for us as a community to accommodate them. It is up to us to lead the way and then let them be a part of it if they choose.

There was a thread on UF within the past week or two where basically they were saying we need to be careful here not to get UF banned in China. As far as I'm concerned, if that's the way they're going to be, then let UF be banned there. We're not going to suffer for it, they will. It doesn't mean I think we should get into political discussions here. What it means is that we should not lower ourselves to their level. They've got a bunch of idiots for members of government there, etc. etc. Why should the rest of us feel the need to fear them?

If China actually expects to get anywhere and make progress and "join the rest of us in the 21st century" then they need to grow the heck up and quit all this foolishness. Period.

Sublime Porte
June 11th, 2009, 03:55 AM
Also, I think Red Flag Linux was a joke.

If you knew a little bit about China, then you'd know that so too was LittleRed Book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotations_from_Chairman_Mao_Zedong).

Bölvađur
June 11th, 2009, 04:17 AM
Internet cafés in some city by the coast line where forced to buy RedFlag. Internet Cafés that had leagal copies of Windows did not get to keep their licences and where forced to switch. Suspicion of some hidden software in that distro have awakened but ofcourse we dont know... all we know it is very strange move.

MaxIBoy
June 11th, 2009, 04:59 AM
Be pretty funny if it did get banned, seeing as how it's officially endorsed by the government there. However, its possible that it might get banned. Even then, so what? Enough copies of the source code exist within China's borders that it would be impossible to eliminate.

amitabhishek
June 11th, 2009, 05:10 AM
I don't think so; at least something they can freely copy and get away with it ;).

devosion
June 11th, 2009, 07:15 AM
China the thrift center of the world ban the thriftiest OS choice out there? Doubt it.

starcannon
June 11th, 2009, 08:14 AM
China has mandated that all personal computers sold in the country after July 1 would have to have Internet filtering software on the machine its self. According Jonathan Zittrain that type of software could be used as a surveillance tool, it could be used to access any file on someone's machine.

This got me thinking, since Linux is open source, it would certainly be possible to circumvent any sort of software like that on Linux by obtaining the source of a Linux distro and by compileing your own "clean" distro, or by just obtaining a distro with out the filtering software.

Therefore I would imagine that the Chinese government would want to "discourage" Linux use in their nation.

Thoughts?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105218256
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-china-censor10-2009jun10,0,1086571.story

The primary thing that a despot seems to always forget is, their subjects are often smarter, more savvy, and so yearning for freedom, that no matter what they come up with, no matter how much money they spend, the common people will always come up with a way to circumvent it.

Three Cheers for the Common People!

BlazeFire247
June 11th, 2009, 08:14 AM
According Jonathan Zittrain that type of software could be used as a surveillance tool, it could be used to access any file on someone's machine.

Wouldn't that seem like invading someone else's privacy? I personally think that people should choose whatever's best for them. So, maybe they would like to use Linux.

Elfy
June 11th, 2009, 09:02 AM
Please bear this in mind, keep the thread away from politics. I've jailed one post already.


Discussions on religion and politics are not allowed, except for politics directly related to free and open source issues.

bryncoles
June 11th, 2009, 09:36 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8094026.stm

apparently, this venture is a bigger folly than we imagined. never mind the politics of it, the implementation itself is flawed, according to the beeb.


Every PC in China could be at risk of being taken over by malicious hackers because of flaws in compulsory government software.


"We found a series of software flaws," explained Isaac Mao, a blogger and social entrepreneur in China, as well as a research fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

For example, he said, tests had shown that communications between the software and the servers at the company that developed the program were unencrypted.


The software has also caused a backlash amongst privacy experts, academics and some Chinese citizens. It has also raised the scorn of the blogosphere inside the country who feel the system is no match for tech-savvy teenagers.

this is my favourite work-around (especially given that China is supposed to be migrating away (http://en.lupaworld.com/) from Microsoft products and towards linux)


One blogger posted a screenshot of the software purportedly blocking an attempt to visit a porn site using Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

But, he said, there was no problem accessing the site using the Firefox web browser.

koshatnik
June 11th, 2009, 10:08 AM
I have no idea how true any of this is. Nevertheless, this is China's responsibility and problem. Frankly, if they're stupid enough to do stuff like that, then they deserve all the negative consequences they've got coming to them.

Agreed. In the West we have DRM. We don't learn either.




Then again, I'll never understand why such a wise and ancient culture would have fallen for Communism in the first place, way back when. However, I see no reason for us as a community to accommodate them. It is up to us to lead the way and then let them be a part of it if they choose.

Communism doesnt exist in the real world, only on paper. China is a dictatorship. Communism is bee's in a hive. When humans do it, it degrades into authoritarian dictatoriship.




If China actually expects to get anywhere and make progress and "join the rest of us in the 21st century" then they need to grow the heck up and quit all this foolishness. Period.

You could insert the name of any country in that statement in place of China. The US does some pretty daft and stupid things, and still does. As does the UK. The US monitors its citizens just as judiciously as China does. In the 1950's and 1960's things were alot more overt and obvious Things have become more subtle now. In the UK have surveillance camera's everywhere.

Just because you have what is perceived to be a free press, like we like to think we have in the West, what we actually have is a controlled filtered news environment, which is also full of conjecture, opinion and second hand facts. Its down to the individual to make a value judgement on whether thats worth having or not.

Sef
June 11th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Locked. Too political about china and not about Linux and china.