Keyword Filtering in E-books

On his blog, est electronixtar posted his recent discovery of the Chinese authority’s control over electronic readings.

est’s roommate had a strange experience while reading a chm-formatted novel on his computer.  In the novel, there was a line of words with the phrase “真他妈的” (which roughly means the same as “dammit” in English) in the end. The magic happened a few seconds after he first read this line as the phrase suddenly changed to”真他**” with “xx” replacing the curse word on the screen.

With his computer programming background, est tried to explore what happened. First, he suspected that it was due to the government’s control over the internet. However, the phenomenon did not change after he unplugged the Internet connection. Then, he tried to decode the chm file and surprisingly found the corresponding javascript on his local hard drive. 

est writes:

“never thought that are also crawling all over local hard disks… now is also in chm e-books. Imagine that when you read novels, big brother is also watching you… In Soviet China, novels read YOU!”

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