Shanzhai nature inside the “Green Dam- Youth Escort” software

When the remixing free culture movement (e.g. Wikipedia and Linux) contributes to the Internet culture, the Shanzhai culture (e.g. Chinese knockoff and pirated brands and goods) could also be found in the latest the “Green Dam- Youth Escort” software. Judging from the results re-engineered by some tech-savvy users in China, what is inside the “Green Dam- Youth Escort” software contains elements that will surprise many of us.

It is difficult to imagine why any black list can contain the following websites in the same category (see the source):

  • americangirl.com
  • news.cybersiter.com
  • virgin-boys
  • amnesty.org

It is the ultimate remix of a lifestyle brand for young American girls, a well-known child-protection filtering software company, a taboo word for child pornography, and …. a pro-human rights international NGO.

Thus, the hackers who re-engineered this software speculates that it is a black list for the Green Dam software.   It is ironic that this software actually contains traces of Cybersitter’s work.  The potential copyright/copyleft infringement could also be found in its using of one open source project, OpenCV.   Please see the section of copyright infringement in the collaboratively-written report.

Hence, the “Green Dam- Youth Escort” software is the ultimate technical, political and legal art form that remixes Beijing’s  patrimonial, paranoia, control-freak political sentiments with Chinese local software industry’s “Shanzhai” style of creativity.   It is sometimes hard to distinguish the two from this software.   The combination is, as the Internet users in China who re-engineered it, absurd and funny!

Taiwanese media (arguably the most liberal in East Asia with regards to gay and lesbian culture) has already criticized the software also filters proper gay and lesbian websites, which is also substantiated by the  re-engineered evidence of gay/lesbian list.  The re-engineers are reluctant to comment, saying they have little clues to comment.   I am sure that human rights group in Taiwan will like to collaborate.  If so, another kind of remix culture will be formed through this process to counter the the “Green Dam- Youth Escort” software, which symbolizes an absurd kind of remix culture: Beijing’s political control freak and Beijing’s indigenuos Shangzhai-based software industry.

Still, there is one re-engineered list of urls that is open to interpretation.  The list contains financial and market information providers.  It is believed to be part of the black list of the “Green Dam- Youth Escort” software.  So, what is your take in why Beijing want to filter such information for the youth in China?

  • Is it the ultimate war between the Chinese Green Dam against American Greenbacks?
  • Is it the Green Dam built to fend off the financial crisis originated in US?
  • Is it to difficult for the Youth in China to understand the financial figures and reports?
  • Is the current financial figures and reports too “obscene” for care-free children?
  • Is it to prevent the parents to access the financial transparency practice in the West?

Note that www.sec.gov is included in the list.

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