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China: Police's call to set up censorship norms

On July 15 2010, Twitterer justin7974 forwarded an urge notice issued by Beijing Chaoyang District Police Station. It said:



Beijing City Chaoyang district police station issued an urgent notice today regarding “Calling for a working meeting on the security norm of Internet Company”. The meeting will be taken place at the Chaoyang Opera House of the Chaoyang District at 8:30am on 16 of July (Friday). It is necessary for all companies with Internet portal service to attend the meeting.

Please report by 16:00, 15 of July how many company representatives will attend the meeting. If you are absent from the meeting, the Beijing City Chaoyang District Station will handle it in serious manner. Please take this seriously.

Yesterday (July 16, 2010), Jason Ng attended the meeting and tweetcasted the event. First to speak is a representative from, a portal website founded in 2005:

Role model








The Deputy President of Qihoo shares their experience in harmonizing users’ opinions.
Oihoo DP points out that search engine and interactive services (translator note: such as comments, chat room, blogs, forum) are the major censor zones. And they apply keywords filtering.
Qihoo DP further explains that they have more than 2000 black listed keywords for their interactive services.
Qihoo DP says the company keeps deleting harmful messages from users around the clock.
When Qihoo DP explains on the harmful contents, he mentions pornography, violence, illegal sale, and keeps avoid mentioning politically sensitive messages.
He is very smart, keeps stressing that censorship is for filtering pornographically messages.
Qihoo DP says, “I wish the government authorities can facilitate the development of the Internet. The development of the Chinese Internet cannot be achieved through censorship. On the contrary, nontransparent censorship will take away the lively spirit of the Chinese Internet. Many Web 2.0 websites were shut down because of innovation. Sometimes you don't even know what goes wrong and the website just vanished.”

Censorship norms and regulations

The second speaker is from the Online Information Security Bureau:








The Police Online Security Comrade says it is important to crack down rumor. I agree on this and we also need to crack down fake academic credential.
The Police Online Security Comrade keeps repeating terms like “majority of the countries” or “many countries”.
Online Security Comrade points out that most of the small and medium size interactive websites do not have a sense of social responsibility, they do not see the marco picture of the society. Moreover, their staffs don't have good professional quality, weak in executive and management ability.
Online Security Comrade says, in the US they never admit that they have violated citizen freedom in communication when they manage the Internet. The Chinese government is now exploring the Chinese way for our management model. The party central is very concerned about Internet Security issue, it is a matter of the nation's security and stable governance.
Lastly, the Online Security Bureau gives the notice that “For sensitive issue, it is essential to organize online commentators to channel the public opinion in time”.
Online Security Comrade stresses that all public assembly and demonstration have too be registered at public security bureau. They need to get the permit for conducting this kind of activities. Any post that call for assembly and protest in the Internet is illegal.
Police from the public security bureau says they would invite two speakers from portal websites to explain why they failed to take prompt action on illegal information.

Discipline and punishment

After explaining the online security norms, another speaker from the police department told the audience the consequence of not following the norms:

网安的另一同志说,“因为关了某门户的某频道一两天,导致他们损失了200多万。” 这很难让我不想象是哪个门户网站。





Another comrade from the Online Security Bureau said “Recently we shut down a channel of a portal websites for two days, and they lost more than 2 million. I am compelled to connect what he said with a recent case.
The comrade of public security department is trying to tell the audience that they have to try hard to build up a pre-censorship mechanism, or else their websites will receive complaint.
The public security comrade boasts that “a couple of days ago, we shut down a big portal website's channel, their executive president has to come to me to discuss about the case. I don't want to shut it down and wish you guys can self-regulate”.
The public security comrade continues to say: “we will insecure if we cannot see the portal websites’ censorship report”.
The leader points out that many editors are from the post-80 generation. They don't have deep understanding about the society and very individualistic. They tend to put negative social news on the front page. He then mentions an example from

1 comment

  • :::The public security comrade boasts that “a couple of days ago, we shut down a big portal website’s channel, their executive president has to come to me to discuss about the case. I don’t want to shut it down and wish you guys can self-regulate”.:::

    So when these executives come out and tell the press that they just went down for normal maintenance, we should read between the lines and know that they are lying to cover up the story on behalf of the Party.

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