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Telecom Operators Plan Web Porn Crackdown
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China has launched its toughest-ever crackdown against online pornography with several telecommunications operators banding together to cut off offensive material right at the source.

Reviewing the details of online pornography crimes will allow a better perspective in how to eliminate this blight. Two factors make fighting pornography a priority for telecom operators. Firstly, websites can gain more clients via distribution outlets run by the operators. Secondly, cell phones have become the weapon of choice for those seeking to download porn films, due to their efficiency and speed. Porn providers can also maintain their content in a cheaper fashion through mobile services, making telecommunication operators an associate since they act as the medium between illegal websites and users.

It would seem that these faults are merely by-products of standard technological services such as providing an internet connection and a distribution channel. However, enterprises are obliged to regulate and censor their partners, in order to help clean the internet and prevent free dissemination of obscenity. Telecom operators are not exempt from this rule, as specifically stipulated in the current telecommunications statute.

It is undeniable that both external and internal forces have led to this subversion of traditional telecom roles, pushing them to becoming supervisors of online culture. Unfortunately, some operators are ignoring this phenomenon, allowing porn to thrive on their domains. Some of them have even entered into partnerships with porn websites through offering message-sending and registration services. In recent weeks, the crisis surrounding Vnet.cn, a pornographic website, placed Hengyang Telecom in central China's Hunan Province under the spotlight given the availability of many porn films via its service platform.

Acting as a crucial link in the porn industry, any telecommunications operators that aid or help pornographic operations should be punished.

(China.org.cn by He Shan, July 5, 2007)

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