A few scenarios, from bad to worst case (about Green Dam and how the filtering software might be used):

To avoid a ruckus, the People’s Republic of China might start with repressive policies with unpopular targets such as gambling or pornography before moving onto more controversial items. Thus, Green Dam 1.0 may be rather toothless, but, like any software that uses automatic updates, Green Dam will surely be "upgraded" to address other government concerns. Likely directions it may take:

Expanding to political speech – Extremely likely, consider the co-opting of Yahoo, Google, et. al.

Disabling access – Very likely. Even in a Western hotel in China, browsing to a "harmful" site like those discussing press freedoms, or anti-China views, will result in a temporarily disabled Internet connection.

Reporting access – Very likely. Thousands of "minders" already monitor e-mail and phone calls. The Chinese version of Skype scans messages for political content and logs offending messages.

File scanner – Likely. A "helpful" virus scanner-like update could scan your files for content and report.

Keystroke logger – Possible. Monitors your typing in all applications.

Remote control – Possible. Just like "remote assistance" help desks use to debug your PC. Could allow cyber-cops to browse through PCs undetected.

Webcam / microphone spy – Possible. Big Brother PC records your conversations and sends them to the cyber-cops.

(Reprinted with permission of Peter Navarro)