Monday, January 5, 2009

China launches crackdown on pornography, targeting Google, other portals, search engines

China targets Google in crackdown on pornography
China launches crackdown on pornography, targeting Google, other portals, search engines

(From Yahoo Business News) BEIJING (AP) -- China launched a major crackdown on Internet pornography Monday targeting popular online portals and major search engines such as Google.
Seven government agencies will work together on the campaign to "purify the Internet's cultural environment and protect the healthy development of minors," according to an announcement on the government's official Chinese-language Web site,
Pornography is banned in China, though the government's Internet police struggle to block Web sites based abroad.
The government announcement said Google and Baidu, China's two most heavily used search engines, had failed to take "efficient" measures after receiving notices from the country's Internet watchdog that they were providing links to pornographic material.
The statement also named popular Web portals Sina and Sohu, as well as a number of video sharing sites and online bulletin boards, that it said contain problematic photos, blogs and postings.
It said violators will be severely punished, but did not give details or say how long the campaign will last.
A Google spokeswoman in China, Cui Jin, defended the site's operations, saying it does not contain any pornographic content.

China has the world's largest population of Internet users with more than 250 million. The central government has blocked access to many Web sites it considers subversive or too political, including The New York Times' Web site on Dec. 19. It was unblocked a couple days later and remained open Monday.

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