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The Green Dam Cyber-Censor Case

Primary Articles/Links


The Wikipedia page on the "Green Dam Youth Escort" has a reasonable overview.

What types of internet content are blocked in China?

Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China
(March 2003)  This is an academic analysis from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School.  The authors documented thousands of websites that were inaccessible in China, and they discuss the effectiveness of internet content regulation in China.

How does Green Dam software work?

China's Green Dam: The Implications of Government Control Encroaching on the Home PC
This website displays an assessment of the Green Dam software and discusses international comparisons.  The site is written by Open Net Initiative and contains links to other relevant information sources at the bottom of the page.

Big vulnerabilities in China's mandatory filtering software            
(June 12, 2009)  This is a short news article written by Ryan Paul of “ars technica” regarding the basics of the implementation of the Green Dam software.  He discusses the risks of implementing a wide-spread internet filtering regulation.

Other Resources (optional)

Of General interest:

An Introduction to Principles of Ethics and Morality for Scientists and Engineers

How did I.T. firms and PC manufacturers react?

Information tech firms urge China to reconsider filter

(June 10, 2009)  This Reuters article is about American computer and software manufacturers who are urging China to reconsider its internet content regulation.  The groups mentioned in the article include:  the Information Technology Industry Council, Software & Information Industry Association, Telecommunications Industry Association, and TechAmerica.

China's software filter puts bite on PC majors

(June 12, 2009)  This Reuters article is about the criticism companies like HP and Dell may face in the U.S. if they decide to comply with the Chinese demands to install Green Dam internet filter software on all new PCs that will be sold in China.

Have there been other attempts to censor internet content or monitor use in China?

A. Skype admits to storing China text messages

(October 2, 2008)  This Reuters article is about an apparent breach of privacy between the Chinese version of Skype (TOM-Skype) and its users.  The article states:  “Skype apologized after a report revealed that the Web service monitors text chats with politically sensitive keywords and stores them along with million of personal user records….”.

B. China Censors: The Tiananmen Square Anniversary Will Not Be Tweeted

(June 2, 2009)  This article, on “Wired,” is about the Chinese government’s preparations to censor any references to Tiananmen Square in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the protest.  The article reports that references to Tiananmen Square found on Twitter, Flickr, and Hotmail will be censored.

C.  Google censors itself for China

(January 25, 2006)  This older article from BBC news is about Google’s decision to “censor its search services in China in order to gain greater access to China’s fast-growing market.”  Google’s new site for this purpose will be

D.  Yahoo 'Strictest' Censor in China

(June 15, 2006)  This article, on “Wired,” claims that (the censored version of Yahoo in China) censors a larger percentage of websites that are unfavorable to the Chinese government that any other search engine used in China.  This claim was made by Reporters Without Borders – a journalism advocacy group from France.

Have other countries attempted to censor internet content?

The Green Dam Phenomenon

(June 18, 2009)  This article, by Rebecca MacKinnon (in the opinions section of the Wall Street Journal), uses the Green Dam case as an example of a growing trend for national governments to control the internet content accessible within their jurisdictions.

Internet Censorship: Law & policy around the world

This is a comprehensive listing of laws and policies affecting internet usage policy in various countries around the world that was compiled in March 2002 by Electronic Frontiers Australia.



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