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Chinese authorities have arrested over five thousand people in a continuing crackdown on internet pornography.

The news came at the end of a year of action against online smut which saw a volunteer army recruited to monitor naughtiness on the net. But 2009 also saw China shelve plans for compulsory net filters for all its citizens, which were seen by many as no more than an excuse to improve overall web censorship.

It moved instead to prevent individuals registering web addresses unless they hold a business licence. It is also creating a blacklist of people not ever allowed to hold a Chinese domain.

China arrested 5,394 people during the crackdown in 2009 - four times more than in 2008, Reuters reports.

The Ministry of Pubic Security promised even more action this year. It promised to increase monitoring, push ISPs to provide filtering technology and: "intensify punishments for Internet operations that violate laws and regulations".

The country now has more internet-connected citizens than any other, but is still struggling with the social and political implications this brings. ®

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