Stealing online assets is real theft

08:53, April 07, 2010      

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Online virtual assets of local netizens will be protected and supervised by police in the booming southern city of Shenzhen, a local white paper said.

After publishing the White Paper of Public Services of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, Shenzhen has become the first city in Guangdong province to introduce concrete policies to protect residents' online virtual assets.

The city's police authority will coordinate with major operators of online games and websites to protect residents' virtual assets in the following months. By the end of this year, local police will cooperate with major Internet and online game operators to establish a new system to help local residents retrieve their lost online virtual assets.

Wang Likun, a Guangzhou-based lawyer, said Shenzhen's white paper is of great significance to helping protect locals' online virtual assets, which are usually ignored by governmental departments.

"The number of internet theft and fraud cases have been on the rise in recent years, and police should take concrete and effective measures to fight the online crimes," Wang told China Daily.

Stealing others' virtual currencies, online game accounts, passwords and other virtual assets should also be regarded as committing thefts, Wang added.

Chen Chuxiang, a white collar worker, said Shenzhen's move will certainly help contribute to the introduction of legal means to protect residents' online virtual assets in the future.

"I usually felt sad and disappointed when I found my QQ account had been stolen or used by others," the online gamer said. QQ is a popular social networking site.

Shenzhen's white paper to protect locals' online virtual assets was published after a growing number of Internet theft cases have been reported in recent years.

More and more local online gamers have asked relevant departments to introduce laws and regulations to fight Internet thefts.

Shenzhen's Nanshan district people's court took the lead in Guangdong to hand out sentences ranging from six months to a year in jail to 11 defendants who stole QQ accounts and passwords. The case had raised great concerns among local residents, lawyers and legal experts.

According to statistics, more than 52 percent of Chinese netizens were victims of Internet fraud, thefts, hacking and viruses in 2009.

The economic losses caused by the Internet security incidents hit more than 15.3 billion yuan ($2.24 billion) last year.

More than 46.6 percent of cyber citizens lost their online virtual assets after their online game and QQ chat room accounts and passwords were stolen.

Source:China Daily


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