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China Extends Crackdown to Mobile Phones

China Extends Crackdown to Mobile Phones
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Jan 22, 2009 3:00 PM PST    Text size: 
BEIJING — China’s Ministry of Public Security today announced that its plans to extend its crackdown against Internet pornography to content for mobile phones.

The crackdown is directed at websites containing “vulgar content that violates social morality and damages the physical and mental health of youths.”

The campaign involves other government bodies besides the Ministry of Public Security that include the State Council Information Office, the Ministry of Industry, Information Technology and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

The Ministry of Public Security posted a statement on its website stating the organizations met Wednesday to discuss the results of the crackdown, however did not include details regarding arrests.

Chinese officials have closed 1,250 websites and arrested 41 people as part of the ongoing campaign, which began Jan. 5 and is reported to last a month.

The campaign followed an arrest in Shanghai that involved a woman who filmed herself having sex and posted the video online.

The original announcement singled out search engines Google and Baidu.com. In a response to the government’s campaign, Google posted a Chinese-language blog acknowledging the government order and agreed to comply.

"Search engines link to massive amounts of content and our plan of action aims to overcome numerous technical challenges, balancing the need to reduce access to inappropriate information without hurting the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the search itself," the post said, and included a phone number and email address for users to report pornographic content.

Baidu also issued an apology, stating its officials felt “deeply guilty” for spreading such content, and that “besides deleting the obscene content and links concerned, we have improved our regulatory system. We apologize to the Netizens at large for the negative impacts we brought upon the society.”

According to a statement by the Ministry of Public Security, the crackdown will continue through the Chinese New Year holiday.

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