China: the Internet as an ideology battlefield

Xinhua News Agency Outlook Weekly reported on a Teleconference on national law enforcement on 4 of Jan, 2010. The Ministry of Public Security reported in the conference that the police will tightening up control over the Internet.

According to the report, the Ministry of Public Security will put together resources and extend the power of Internet police to the county level (rather than city and provincial level). Apart from monitoring forums, blogs and websites, they would also actively monitor QQ groups and micro-blogging in order to prevent organized crime.

The official report also stressed that the Chinese government looks at the Internet not only as a new technology / new media, but a battlefield for ideology struggle. The next stage of Internet control will be by means of legal, administrative, economic and technological measures targeting at Telecommunication companies, Internet service providers and client users.

The national teleconference took place in December 18 and party and governments official from all level, starting from county level, had attended the meeting. The extension of internet / mobile monitor to the county level implies monitoring of communication from the grassroots level. And apart from preventing crime, it is to strengthen ideological control.

Related Chinese report from RFI

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