The Ministry of Public Security is implementing virtual policemen -- in icon form -- on the Websites of eight cities to help maintain cyberspace safety, Xinhua news agency reported today.
The eight cities are Chongqing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu.
Zhang Xinfeng, a vice minister, said the virtual policemen will appear on Websites and electronic bulletin board systems 24 hours everyday.
Internet users will now be able to contact the police using the virtual link and ask questions about information safety. Real police officers will read and respond to their questions.
The icon also offers additional information on Internet laws, regulations and precedent Internet criminal cases.
Shenzhen has issued two dummy policemen icons on Websites to fight against online crime, including porn and gambling.
People may click the cartoon police icon (http://66110.qzone.qq.com and http://777110.qzone.qq.com) to interact with the authorities.
(Shanghai Daily May 15, 2006)