1 000 arrests in China internet crackdown

2012-03-31 14:40
Beijing - Beijing police have arrested 1 065 suspects and deleted more than 208,000 "harmful" online messages during a crackdown on internet-related crime since mid-February, a state news agency said Saturday.

The operators of more than 3 117 websites have received warnings after police targeted the smuggling of firearms, drugs and toxic chemicals, and the sale of human organs and personal information, Xinhua news agency said.

China has recently stepped up efforts to "cleanse" cyberspace, in what many see as a restriction on web freedom in the country, where a vast censorship system known as the "Great Firewall" blocks sites including Twitter and Facebook.

Late on Friday Xinhua cited the state internet information office saying the country had shut down websites, made six arrests and punished two popular microblogs after rumours of a coup in Beijing linked to a major scandal that brought down a top politician.

Authorities closed 16 websites for spreading rumours of "military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing", the agency said.

Beijing's police cyber security department said the arrests since February 14 had cut Internet-related crime by 50%, with 70 internet companies that did not heed warnings receiving "administrative punishments".

- SAPA
Read more on:    china  |  internet
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