China Continues Online Crackdown

    January 23, 2009

China is continuing its Internet crackdown on pornography in what it claims is an effort to protect youth from vulgarity while maintaining it has nothing to do with quieting political dissent.

China Continues Online Crackdown

"The purpose of this campaign is very clear," said Liu Zhengrong, deputy director of the State Council Information Office’s Internet Bureau. "It’s aimed at creating a healthy Internet environment for all young people and making the Internet in China safer and more reliable."

China’s campaign has been called by analysts as another measure by the Communist Party to control dissent in a year of controversial anniversaries, including the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests.

China Continues Online Crackdown
Nicholas Bequelin
Human Rights Watch

"The Internet remains where the battle for information lies and the fact that the government is devoting so much effort at reining it in, in itself indicates how much of a threat they perceive it to be," said Nicholas Bequelin of Human Rights Watch.

China has closed more than 1,200 Web sites, but around 3,000 new sites appear daily, making it an ongoing battle to control online content.

"We fully realize that the crackdown on vulgar websites will be long-lasting, complicated and difficult," said Liu. "We will not abandon efforts to clean up the Internet environment under any circumstances."