China to plant Internet police in top online firms

China is also considering legislation that will give the government more control over the Internet

China's Great Hall of the People.

China's Great Hall of the People.

China's control over the Internet is set to expand. In a bid to better police local websites, the country's security forces are establishing offices at the biggest online firms in the country.

The country's Ministry of Public Security announced the new measures at a time when authorities have been increasingly concerned also about cyberthreats.

Websites based in China already have to abide by strict provisions for online censorship, and will often delete any content deemed offensive by government censors.

The ministry's plan, however, will place China's security forces at the offices of the country's major websites, so that they can quickly respond to suspected online crimes, it said in a statement.

"Cyber attacks, the online spread of terrorist information, Internet fraud, and the stealing of personal information," were among the biggest threats the ministry named. In addition, authorities want to crack down on online rumor mongering, pornography, gambling and drug-related Internet activities.

No specific companies were mentioned, but the country's biggest Internet firms include Alibaba Group, Baidu and Tencent.

The announcement by the ministry comes at a time when the government is considering a new "Internet security law" that could increase China's online censorship while addressing China's online security concerns.

The draft legislation calls for the vetting of Internet products used in critical networking infrastructure, registration of Internet users by their real names, and greater online surveillance.

China has made cybersecurity a major focus, following leaks from former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that alleged that the U.S. has been secretly spying on the country. But the New York-based Human Rights Watch is concerned that the security legislation will stifle free speech.

"The law will effectively put China's Internet companies, and hundreds of millions of Internet users, under greater state control," the group said in an email.

The public comment period for the draft bill ends on Wednesday. In July, China passed another security law that also gives the government control over the country's Internet infrastructure.

Although China's online censorship has grown over the years, the Internet here can still cause controversy. Last month, a video of two shoppers at a Uniqlo store in Beijing engaging in sex went viral, through the help of local Internet services.

In response, a government regulator condemned the video, and held meetings with two Chinese Internet firms, Sina and Tencent, demanding they better manage their content.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags regulation

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?