26 June, 2009

Not just porn, no to 'health' sites too

google in chinaImage by El Tipo Gráfico via Flickr

05:55 AM Jun 26, 2009

BEIJING - China's crackdown on Internet pornography will be extended to health-related sex information, according to new regulations that tighten supervision of such content.

The authorities will monitor such information to prevent obscene content from slipping through and stop pornographic operations posing as health websites, said the rules posted on Wednesday on the health ministry website.

"It is strictly forbidden to disseminate vulgar content in the name of spreading sexual knowledge," it said.

The new regulation comes as China steps up a campaign to wipe out Internet pornography. The government has told computer makers that all personal computers sold from July 1 must be shipped with anti-pornography software.

United States trade officials sent a letter to their Chinese counterparts on Wednesday urging them to revoke an order that requires a controversial Internet filtering software to be installed on computers.

The new regulation applied to websites that bill themselves as health-based, including those run by research institutes and private companies. Violators face fines of 3,000-10,000 yuan ($640-$2,130) in the case of non-commercial websites and more than 10,000 yuan for commercial sites.

However, the paper said authorities should make sure access to legitimate sex information is not cut off, calling it a key sexual education tool.

Yesterday China accused Google of spreading pornography after Chinese users were unable to connect to the search giant's site. "We have found that the English version of google.com has spread lots of pornographic, lewd and vulgar content, which is in serious violation of Chinese laws and regulations," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

He said the authorities summoned Google representatives and told them to "remove the material immediately". He did not respond to questions on whether the government was responsible for the outage. Agencies

From TODAY, World – Friday, 26-Jun-2009; see the source article here.

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