China issues judicial interpretation to clamp down on online porn

08:49, February 04, 2010      

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China issued a judicial interpretation on crimes of spreading obscene content via Internet, mobile WAP sites or telephone information service as the country has intensified its crackdown on online pron.

The legal document, announced by China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) and the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) Wednesday and to be effective Thursday, further clarified crimes involving producing, replicating, publishing, selling and spreading pornographic and vulgar information.

It says that producing, replicating, publishing, selling or spreading obscene electronic information (video) involving minors aged under 14 via Internet or mobile WAP sites will be recognized as a crime.

Those producing, replicating, publishing, selling or spreading 10 pron videos or above for profit will face up to three years in jail if convicted.

The offenders may even face life imprisonment if the number of pron videos involved was huge and the consequences were particularly serious, according to the document.

Telecommunication business operators and Internet service providers will face charges if they provide Internet access and server hosting services to pron websites for profit.

A previous judicial interpretation on crimes of online pron was issued by the SPC and the SPP in 2004.

An official statement jointly released by the SPC and the SPP Wednesday said with rapid development of the information technology, mobile phone has become a new platform transmitting pornographic content and an increasing number of people used cell phone to browse the Internet.

"The flooding lewd information online has seriously harmed the growth of minors, undermined social morality and resulted in crimes," the statement said.

The new judicial interpretation provided strong legal backup for judicial authorities to "cut down the profit chain behind porn Web sites," it said. The profit chain links Web sites, telecommunication operators, advertisers and the third party payment platform.

It said the new interpretation was helpful in "purifying on-line environment, promoting a healthy development of the Internet sector and ensuring healthy growth of the youth."

China has more than 338 million Internet users, and more than 60 percent are younger than 30, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

On Dec. 8, the country launched a new round of crackdown on spreading pornographic contents through Internet or mobile WAP sites to "purify the social environment." The campaign is expected to run to May.

More than 15,000 pornographic Web sites in the country, including 11,000 mobile WAP sites, were shut down or blocked last year.

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