As if the countless world-wide-web access restrictions on users in the country were not enough, China will launch Internet Police, in an effort to further control the content that is delivered to the screens of the internet users of the state.
Up until now, the internet was constantly being searched so that none of the restricted content could make it to the users. This has meant not just filters scanning for keywords, but also human monitors who worked remotely and scanned for inappropriate content in the browsing histories of users, banning them subsequently.
The Ministry of Public Security now plans to up these restrictions, effectively turning the internet into a government controlled medium. To do this, the ministry has announced that it will be installing Internet Police offices in the workplaces of the major internet providers of the country.
The justification for this is, as would be expected, increasing national security by guarding against fraud, terrorist groups, as well as cyber hackers. At some point in the list which contains these three threats to the security of the people, is also pornography. Some may remember that in China, pornography is explicitly forbidden by law, but its description in the act is vague, to say the least.
In the past, the anti-pornography law was used to destroy any influence of political activists by shutting down their websites or various social-media accounts.
The Ministry explicitly named five companies as the first, main targets where it will implement police stations. Obviously, the first is China Mobile, the foremost internet and telecom provider of the country. Then come Alibaba, a Chinese based e-commerce website, Tencent, the owner of the popular chat platform WeChat, as well as Qihoo 360, the web security company.
So far, the companies have all complied with the regulations, with Alibaba making an official statement supporting the decision of the Beijing government to enforce further security in the online medium. In the statement, they say that the company’s main interest is in providing security for the people using the internet.
The people of China are obviously, and rightfully, outraged the piles of restrictions that are being imposed on internet users. Their number is soon to reach 650 million. These users have been constantly battling the restrictions and have ways of working around them. In response to these methods, the Beijing administration has said it will not hesitate in opening the Great Firewall, which will impose even harsher restrictions.
Image source: reutersmedia.net