China stepped up its war on Internet censorship Thursday, slamming Google China for allowing pornographic content to seep into the nation and threatening to punish the search engine.
"Google China's website has not installed filters to block pornography in accordance with the laws and regulations of our nation," the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre (CIIRC) said in a statement.
"A lot of overseas Internet pornographic information has spread into our nation by way of this website, seriously violating laws and regulations."
The statement was read on state-run broadcaster China Central Television's evening news bulletin. The issue was also the main item on the "Focus" current events programme that follows the news.
"CIIRC strongly condemns Google China and demands that it thoroughly clean up the pornographic and vulgar content on its sites," the centre said.
"CIIRC calls on concerned departments in charge of implementing the law to punish (Google China) in accordance with the law."
The reporting centre was jointly set up in 2004 by the State Council, China's cabinet, the Ministry of Police and the Ministry of Information Industry, the nation's Internet watchdog.
No Google representative was immediately available to give comment on the accusations.
The move comes after China vowed to crack down on Internet content that it deems unhealthy, including pornography and anti-government information.
In recent days, computer makers were told by the government that all personal computers sold from July 1 must be shipped with anti-pornography software, a move that has led to widespread concern both in and outside China.
China has the world's largest online population at nearly 300 million web users.
Authorities have a history of blocking websites they deem politically unacceptable or offensive, a censorship system that has been dubbed the "Great firewall of China".
(c) 2009 AFP
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