China launches crackdown on 'harmful' Internet content
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Wednesday May 1, 7:12 PM

China launches crackdown on 'harmful' Internet content

Chinese officials have vowed to crack down on "harmful" content on the Internet, saying they want to protect youth from being corrupted.

The decision to "put Internet content in order" was announced at a teleconference Tuesday among senior officials across the country, the Legal Daily reported Wednesday.

Those present at the conference included representatives from the State Secrets Bureau, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of State Security, the paper said.

"All kinds of harmful information occasionally gets disseminated on the domestic Internet," said Luo Gan, a communist party official in charge of law and order. "There is a rising trend online for illegal activities."

He warned that if illegal use of the Internet is not stopped, young people could be harmed and social stability could be at risk.

"The emergence of these problems seriously endangers the physical and mental health of young people," he said.

The paper did not specify what kind of illegal online content would be targeted, although it did say the campaign would be waged in a spirit of patriotism and respect for the law.

Beijing is well aware of the subversive potential of the Internet, and moves quickly to quell online attempts to erode the communist party's monopoly of power.

Two members of the outlawed China Democracy Party were convicted of subversion and jailed in December for posting their political views on the Internet.

Online rating service Nielsen/NetRatings said late last month that 56.6 million Chinese are living in Internet-connected homes, making China second only to the United States in the number of home Internet users.

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