Chinese government sends web portals a message: block the porn

Posted by Associated Press


Beijing (China) - Yesterday, China's Ministry of Public Security and six other governmental agencies warned 19 Internet web portals (including Google) that they need to do more to block porn. In China, pornography is illegal and yet remains easily accessible via the Internet.






The notice went out to all 19 Internet web portals, but was unclear as to what the Chinese government classifies as "pornographic." The notice indicated the intent of the new campaign is to "purify the Internet's cultural environment and protect the healthy development of minors."



Many leading China analysts claim the move is not about controlling pornography at all, but rather is about controlling freedom of speech or expression. Said Charles Freeman, a China specialist working for Strategic and International studies, "They're looking extensively at political speech, the sort of things traditionally cast under the First Amendment in [the United States]."



According to the Associated Press article, "The Chinese government remains wary of losing its control over the Internet, which could be used for organized opposition to the rule of the Communist Party. Last month over 300 lawyers, writers, scholars and artists signed a petition online called 'Charter 08,' calling for a new constitution guaranteeing human rights."



Sexually explicit photos still appear on the portal, including pictures of actress Zhang Ziyi who is seen sunbathing topless on a beach, according to AP.



See the Associated Press article.