9158 Censorship Research

Jeffrey Knockel
9158 censorship
A sensitive character is replaced with a full-width asterisk (*).

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Censorship Analysis

9158 6.9 comes installed with two sensitive keyword lists, filnick.xml and filter.xml. The former is used to asterisk out sensitive keywords from user names, whereas the latter is used to asterisk out sensitive keywords from messages. Although they self-report to be GB2312-encoded, these files are GB18030-enoded XML files. The program downloads updates for filter.xml from http://mimtenroom.9158.com/web9158/filter.zip. Depending on which IP address mimtenroom.9158.com resolves to, this URL presently (February 25 2015) provides either version 213 or version 324 of the list. When testing from a machine inside China, the name always resolved to, which always provided version 324, the more recent of the two.

Note that presently the downloaded list appears to have an older version number than that of the list that is initially installed.

In addition to the above listed keywords, if a message contains six or more English alphabet characters, then all of its English alphabet characters are asterisked out.