China Reaffirms Plans to “Purify” the Internet

China Reaffirms Plans to “Purify” the Internet

Says crackdown on online pornography is part of overall effort to preserve “national long-term stability,” build a “harmonious socialist society,” and prevent the “poisoning of young people’s physical and mental health,” but most likely is all about strengthening its grip on the what could be a dangerous conduit for threatening images and ideas.

I mentioned early last month how China was ratcheting up its fight against online pornography with news that the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) had shuttered some 414 sites and counting.

China’s Ministry of Public Security now says it’s closed more than 9,000, arrested 5,394 people, and prosecuted 4,186, evidence the country is taking the “problem” very seriously.

It says the fight will deepen in the coming year and that it would “intensify punishments for Internet operations that violate laws and regulations.”

For this it plans a three-pronged strategy.

The first task is a crackdown on Internet pornography crimes. This means focusing on what it calls the “key targets” of people in the country who work for overseas porn websites, mobile phone porn websites, and P2P networks and sites.

The second is to increase the size of its Internet security section that handles pornography-related cases so that it can not only handle and investigate more, but also served as a deterrent for those considering engaging in “criminal activities.”

The third is to “strengthen cooperation with relevant departments and coordination among units together to create a good network management order.” It wants departments to better communicate with one another and collaborate on investigation and prosecution of illegal websites.

As part of that effort it says that it intends to create a “blacklist” that will provide “timely information about foreign propaganda, radio and television, publishing and other areas for their disposal.

If all of that wasn’t scary enough, it also plans to “urge ISPs to put in place preventive technology” that filters pornographic material.

The intensity of their war on pornography is pretty laughable until you stop to think what their ulterior motive really is – censorship and control. I mean unless the Chinese people have a serious porn addiction that is disrupting society (which I highly doubt) there is no reason for such a top to bottom mobilization by authorities.

The necessity of porn is pretty hard to defend, and it makes for a much easier method of getting people and ISPs to comply (not that the govt needs it). It also softens criticisms of people overseas who regularly denounce the Great Firewall of China.

The Chinese govt knows it needs to get a firm grab on the Internet if its to stay in power and anti-porn efforts are all part of that strategy.

Stay tuned.

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