China Arrests 15,000 People for "Internet Crimes"

Chinese people are seen using computers in an internet cafe in Beijing, China, 26 June 2015.  EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

BEIJING (DPA) – Chinese authorities have arrested 15,000 people for crimes that "jeopardized internet security," as they intensify a campaign to "clean" the web.

Police have investigated 7,400 cases of cyber crime and will continue to "destroy online criminal gangs," the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website late Tuesday.

The ministry said it has also targeted websites providing "illegal and harmful information" and advertisements for pornography and gambling sites, without providing details on the criteria.

In total the ministry said the cases investigated involved 66,000 websites, although it did not make clear over what period.

The ministry announced a six-month "cleaning the internet" campaign last month to investigate crimes such as fraud and extortion and purge "harmful" content such as pornography.

China's legislature approved a sweeping national security law on July 1 to tighten control of the internet and empower the state to take "all necessary measures" to protect its sovereignty online.

The far-reaching and vaguely worded legislation calls for tougher management over the internet including measures to prevent the spread of "illegal or harmful information."

 

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