Video: TechWatch: China's porn crackdown

updated 4/13/2007 8:28:26 AM ET 2007-04-13T12:28:26

The Chinese government is launching a new crackdown on online pornography which it says has "perverted China's young minds," a state news agency said Friday.

The Ministry of Public Security says the six-month campaign will target cyber strip shows and sexually explicit images, stories and audio and video clips, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

"The boom of pornographic content on the Internet has contaminated cyberspace and perverted China's young minds," Zhang Xinfeng, a deputy public security minister, was quoted as saying Thursday.

The campaign also will target illegal online lotteries and contraband trade, fraud and "content that spreads rumors and is of a slanderous nature," Zhang said at a news conference.

In China's biggest online porn case to date, a Web site operator, Chen Hui, was sentenced in November to life in prison. The government said Chen's Web site had more than 9 million pornographic images and more than 600,000 registered users.

China has the world's second-biggest population of Internet users after the United States, with 137 million people online.

The communist government encourages Internet use for education and business but tries to block access to material considered obscene or subversive.

"The inflow of pornographic materials from abroad and lax domestic control are to blame for the existing problems in China's cyberspace," Zhang said.

According to Xinhua, the Beijing Reformatory for Juvenile Delinquents said 33.5 percent of its detainees were influenced by violent online games or erotic Web sites when they committed crimes such as robbery and rape.

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