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China's 'Safesurf' Website Turns One

The China Reporting Center of Illegal and Unhealthy Information (URL: www.net.China.cn) celebrated its first anniversary in Beijing on June 10. All the attendees at the event agreed that the efforts of the center in conveying public sentiment on unsavory material on the Internet, clearing network environments, and promoting self-discipline in the Internet industry have paid off.


On June 10, 2004, China launched the website for users to report illegal or unhealthy Internet activity and material. It has so far received more than 143,000 complaints, of which 67.5 percent relate to pornographic material, 4.4 percent to cult activity, 3.4 percent to online fraud, 1.9 percent to online gambling, and 1.6 percent to intellectual property rights infringements.


The center verifies and sorts complaints, and has so far forwarded 1,878 cases to the relevant law enforcement departments including the Ministry of Public Security, State Council information Office and Ministry of Information Industry. Of these, 1,264 were pornographic sites and 307 gambling sites.


Under the encouragement and supervision of the center in accordance with various self-disciplinary regulations and rules now in place against Internet abuse, various websites have also been asked to delete about 100,000 pieces of unlawful and unhealthy information, including more than 30,000 web pages that offend social morals, and over 14,000 photos that are deemed harmful to children and teenagers.


Cai Mingzhao, vice minister of the State Council Information Office, Hu Qiheng, chairwoman of the Internet Society of China, and officials from related departments of the Public Security Ministry and Information Industry Ministry attended the event.


The safesurf website was created as a result of appeals from the public and has received much public support since, according to Cai. "The large number of complaints received during the year shows the public’s obvious revulsion for illegal and unhealthy Internet activity and material. The website has treated each complaint carefully and played a significant role in law enforcement departments’ campaigns against pornographic websites and online gambling. It opens a new channel for the public to participate in the maintenance of order in Internet information dissemination."


Representatives of well-known Chinese websites and Internet user groups, the press and officials from related government departments also attended the event.


(China.org.cn by Chen Qiuping June 10, 2005)

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