China slaps Google for 'porn' links | Shanghai Daily

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China slaps Google for 'porn' links

CHINA has accused Google of spreading pornography through its international services and ordered the US-based search giant to block offending sites that can be accessed here.

Google's English-language services were disrupted in China on Wednesday night. Last week, some links supplied by searches on Google's Chinese-language site were blocked because they contained material offensive to government cyber cops, and Google was ordered to take steps to make pornography off limits in China.

"We have found that the English version of Google.com has spread lots of pornographic, lewd and vulgar content, seriously violating China's laws and regulations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said yesterday during a regular news conference.

He said that authorities "summoned representatives of Google.com in China and urged them to remove the content immediately."

But Qin did not directly respond to a question about whether government action was responsible for problems in accessing Google sites.

Starting around 10pm on Wednesday, Google's English search service, its e-mail service Gmail and the Internet tool Google Reader were inaccessible for more than an hour in China.

Qin said measures taken against Google were in keeping with the law. "I would like to stress that Google.com, as an Internet enterprise providing services in China, should earnestly abide by all Chinese laws," Qin said. "All the punitive measures adopted by the relevant authorities are conducted strictly according to law."

Google said yesterday it was investigating the issue.

Many Internet users were disturbed by the service disruptions. "I felt frustrated and powerless because I can't work without Google," said Luo Yihang, a reporter at a Beijing-based financial magazine.

Google's Chinese-language search service came under fire last week from the industry watchdog, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center, which said Google was failing to "filter pornographic content from its search engine results under China's laws and regulations."

Google was told to block porn links from that site and its English services. The company said last week it had met with Chinese government officials to discuss the issue and had "solved most problems."

China has the world's largest population of Internet users at more than 298 million.

Authorities launched a crackdown this year that led to the closing of more than 1,900 porn-related Websites.




 

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