China to send police into Internet companies to curb ‘lawbreaking’

(From Radio Free Asia)

The ruling Chinese Communist Party looks set to further tighten its grip on the nation’s 650 million netizens with the stationing of specialist police officers in major Internet companies.

“We will further deepen and expand our construction of police Internet security stations, setting them up in major websites and Internet enterprises,” China’s ministry of public security said in a statement on its website seen by RFA on Wednesday.

Chinese Internet cafe

Chinese Internet cafe

“[This will enable police to] respond immediately to any situations in which illegal behavior or crime is suspected, helping and directing websites to expand their capacity to manage online security,” it said.

Hacker attacks, “violent terrorist information,” fraud and data theft, pornography and gambling are mushrooming online, posing a serious threat to social stability and national security, according to the statement.

Police should “play a dominant role” in the management of online security, it said.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) meanwhile warned of provisions in a draft Cybersecurity Law that will put greater pressure on Internet companies to police the online behavior of their customers.

“The Chinese government should scrap provisions in the proposed Cybersecurity Law that require Internet companies to practice censorship, register users’ real names, localize data, and aid government surveillance,” HRW wrote in a submission to China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC) on the draft law. Read more

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