China Targets Adult Webmasters Using U.S. Servers

Jul 13, 2009 7:45 AM PST
BEIJING — China’s adult webmasters who move content to foreign servers have found themselves not immune from the People's Republic of China.

On Sunday night, the official Xinhua news agency said police have "cracked the cases" of two Chinese adult websites where owners ran on U.S. servers and updated through an encrypted virtual private network.

Most owners of Chinese online adult sites have started renting server space abroad to avoid detection by China's so-called web police, Xinhua said.

And more Chinese Internet users often access online content through tools like VPNs and overseas proxy servers, which can redirect their surfing through a foreign IP address.

This weekend’s arrests targeted a pair of suspects who sold U.S.-based proxy services to other Chinese adult website operators.

Police also arrested staff from a Chinese company that created more than 40 wireless sites, Xinhua said. The company reportedly had made over $150,000 selling advertisements on the sites.

On Monday, Chinese police continued their war against online adult material, warning third-party payment processors against providing services.

The Ministry of Public Security said those payment platforms would face prosecution if they deliberately provided such services for illegal material.

Police in Hebei said 23 people who owned and ran the website LoveCity had sold more than 8,000 memberships through the payment platforms such as Alipay, PayPal and YeePay.

Police warned the third-party payment platforms that they could be charged with complicity if they deliberately provided services to those dealing in pornography.

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