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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:

北京市公安局朝阳分局今日发布《关于召开互联网公司安全规范工作会议》的紧急通知,兹定于2010年7月16日(本周五)上午8:30,在朝阳区朝阳剧场召开全市互联网公司安全规范工作会,要求各互联网接入公司或运营总监务必准时参会。

请于2010年7月15日16:00之前回复贵司此次参会的具体人数,如届时不予到场参会,北京市公安局朝阳分局将作出严肃处理,请贵司予以充分重视。

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 Qihoo.com, a portal website founded in 2005:

Role model

奇虎网的副总裁上台分享如何和谐掉用户的言论。

奇虎的副总裁又说,交互式栏目与搜索引擎是重点的审查区域,主要是关键词过滤。

奇虎副总裁再说,我们的交互式栏目有2000多个黑名单关键词。

奇虎副总裁继续说,我们会随时随地删除用户发的有害信息。

奇虎副总裁在说到内容审查的时候,提到了色情信息、暴力信息、非法贩卖信息,但一直不提政治敏感信息。

他很聪明,一直说审查主要是为了过滤色情信息。

奇虎副总裁说,“希望政府部门加强审查促进互联网的发展。”中国互联网的发展不是靠审查来促进的,相反,不透明的审查让中国互联网变得毫无生气。一个又一个的web2.0网站因为审查倒下,一次又一次的创新因为审查被扼杀。有时,你甚至不知道做了什么,网站就凭空消失了。

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:

公安部网安局的同志说要打击虚假信息,这点我很同意。像什么虚假学历,绝对要打击的。

公安部网安局的同志的讲话里包括了大量“大多数国家”、“许多国家”。

网安局的同志继续说道,中小互动网站的社会责任感不强、大局观不强、行业资历不高、执行能力低下、管理能力不强。

网安局的同志说,美国在管理互联网的时候不承认自己侵犯了公民的通信自由,中国政府也正在探索符合中国国情的管理模式,党中央一直很重视网络安全,网络安全关乎到国家的长治久安。

最后,网安局的通知说,“对于敏感的话题,及时组织网络评论员进行舆论引导。”

网安的同志强调,集会、游行是需要到公安局备案,获得批准后才能进行。在网上发起任何集会游行的帖子都是违法的。

公安局的警察说,下次开会要邀请两个处理非法信息不及时的公司上台解释为什么处理怠慢。

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。

公安部的同志说了这么久,无非是想说,任何信息都要力所能及地做到先审后发,不然的话网站就等着被举报吧。

公安部的同志炫耀道,“前两天某个大门户的某个频道被我们关了,还是他们的老总过来跟我谈,我也不想关闭他们整个频道啊,所以希望大家自律。”

公安部的领导继续说,“一天接不到门户的审查报告,我们心里就不踏实。”

那位领导表示,现在很多网站的编辑都是80后的,对社会问题理解不深刻,而且个性很强,容易将一些对社会造成负面影响的信息放到新闻首页上。他还举了一个新浪的例子。

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 sina.com.

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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