Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Virtual police is there to protect or restrict netizens??

China authorities are sending out two virtual police officers to patrol the Internet to combat online pornography and other web sites that promote superstition, gambling, and fraud. The virtual officers, a man and a woman, will appear either on motorcycles, in a car, or on foot, at the bottom of users' computer screens every 30 minutes to remind them of Internet security. The two will monitor major news portals and all Web sites and online forums based in Beijing as of September 1. "Netizens" will be able to click on the icons to connect to the bureau's Internet Surveillance Centre, where they can report illegal activities.

I am not sure whether those two virtual cops are there to protect internet users or to restrict internet users. It really depends on what the China authorities consider as bad influenced web sites. Web sites talking about media freedom, religious freedom, Tibet, Taiwan, etc. are considered infractions? Web sites talking about made-in-China poisonous products are considered a violation as well?? (・_・?)

BBC News
Scientific America
China Daily

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