China Vows to Monitor Internet

BEIJING (AP) -
The policy statement was released three months after a public
dispute over censorship prompted Google Inc. to shut its
mainland-based search engine.

The report said there were 384 million Internet users in China
at the end of 2009, equal to about 29 percent of the total
population. The government aims to boost that to 45 percent in the
next five years by pushing into rural areas where the white paper
said there was a "digital gap."

It said the Internet had taken an "irreplaceable role in
accelerating the development of the national economy" and would
continue to impact daily work, education and lifestyles.

But China, which routinely blocks websites such as Facebook,
YouTube and Twitter, gave no sign there would be an easing of the
"Great Firewall" - the nickname for the network of filters that
keep mainland Web surfers from accessing material the government
deems sensitive.

The official English translation of the paper gives a favorable
mention of Twitter - an apparent glitch since the U.S.
microblogging service has been banned in China since last year. The
English version of the white paper gave it as an example of a
fast-growing service that allows people to express themselves. The
Chinese version mentions only micro-blogs.

The 31-page white paper did not give specific examples of what
content would be banned, saying Chinese laws prohibit the spread of
"contents subverting state power, undermining national unity,
infringing upon national honor and interests, inciting ethnic
hatred and secession" as well as such things as pornography and
terror.

The white paper also put the onus on companies to block content
deemed sensitive, saying China required Internet service providers
to set up "Internet security management systems and utilize
technical measures to prevent the transmission of all types of
illegal information."

Google ran afoul of the government earlier this year when it
accused Chinese hackers of trying to plunder its software coding
and of hijacking the Gmail accounts of human rights activists
protesting Beijing's policies, and said it would stop
self-censoring its search results in line with Chinese regulations.

It moved its search service to the freer Chinese territory of
Hong Kong in March.

The white paper did not mention Google, but said anyone using
the Internet in China had to respect its laws. "Within Chinese
territory the Internet is under the jurisdiction of Chinese
sovereignty. The Internet sovereignty of China should be respected
and protected," it said.


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