China Ramps Up Antiporn Mission by Regulating .cn Sites

Dec 16, 2009 11:30 AM PST
BEIJING — China is ramping up its war against online porn, with the government’s latest crackdown making it impossible for webmasters to obtain a .cn suffix unless they can prove they are a government-registered business or organization.

The China Internet Network Information Center, which administers China's domain-name registrations, also plans to continue periodic investigations of existing domains for pornographic content. More than 1,000 sites have been deleted by the CNNIC this year in the antipornography campaign.

The .cn suffix was intended for company websites, but that was loosely enforced, leading independent blogs and other noncommercial sites to use the suffix. According to CNNIC, this led to the registration of sites that purvey obscenity and "false information."

It still is possible to register other suffixes from within China, such as .com and .net., but those domains can be blocked in China,

China's antiporn campaign, initiated in August, has closed countless Chinese mobile and Internet sites. The government on Wednesday said it would draft a regulation specifically for WAP sites, which provide Internet service for mobile phones, before March next year,

Authorities also have begun offering rewards for tips leading to more closures.

Google Inc.'s Chinese site and Alibaba Group's Yahoo China site have been accused by authorities of facilitating the spread of vulgar content. Both companies made adjustments to their sites after the allegations, without admitting any wrongdoing.

Chinese officials also frequently block access to overseas websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which have been inaccessible for most Chinese users since earlier this year.

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