The police in China arrested more than 15,000 people allegedly involved in internet crimes and suspended a number of network providers and advertising agencies on Tuesday.
In a statement, China’s Ministry of Public Security said the suspects “jeopardized internet security.”
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Chinese police also removed more than 190,000 illegal online items featuring violence, obscenity or gambling. The actions of the authorities were part of the six-month campaign to fight online criminal activities.
China “Cleaning the Internet” campaign
China launched the campaign called “Cleaning the Internet,” which also targets online sabotage attacks, website hacking, and financial crime.
The Ministry of Public Security said the country’s police already investigated 7,400 cases of cyber crime and 66,000 websites providing illegal and harmful information including advertisements for pornography, explosive, firearms, and gambling.
“For the next step, the public security organs will continue to increase their investigation and crackdown on cyber crimes,” according to the Ministry of Public Security.
China operates one of the world’s most sophisticated online censorship systems called the Great Firewall. The government implements a tight control over contents or information published online to prevent anything that could potentially weaken the ruling Communist Party.
The Communist Party believes that it is necessary to control the internet in China. President Xi Jinping ordered a crackdown on the country’s internet since assuming his position in 2013.
The Chinese President is well-known for his harsh position against internet activism and free speech. He emphasized that the Communist Party would remain unchallenged, and the government would not tolerate public opposition.
China increased state-level information control
Last year, China said it would crack down mobile apps that feature pornography and obscene content, which are harmful to the country.
China also indicated that it would enhance its abilities to discover pornographic and onscene app. It would also improve its punishment process.
President Xi Jinping ordered the improvement of the government’s censorship and surveillance methods. China is monitoring online message boards, search activities, and websited visited by people in the country.
Earlier this year, a team of researchers from the University of Toronto claimed that China significantly increased its state-level information control using a system called “Great Cannon.”
According to the researchers said China moved from simply blocking information to actively disrupting internet traffic outside its border using the Great Cannon. They said, “The Great Cannon is not simply an extension of the Great Firewall, but a distinct attack control,” which was used in recent attacks on GiftHub and servers that handle traffic for GreatFire.org.
China cyber police to work at major tech companies
A recent report from Xinhua indicated that China’s cyber police will start working at major websites and internet companies in China to prevent crimes, fraud, and the spread of rumors.
Currently, Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings, and Baidu dominated the internet in China.
Alibaba previously emphasized that it is committed to preventing illegal activities online. The company’s spokesman said, “It is our priority to maintain the reliability and security of our platforms to protect our customers.”