Feeds

China cuffs 905 suspects in online black market purge

8,000 emporiums eradicated

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The Chinese authorities have gone on yet another web crackdown, shutting close to 8,000 websites, although this time the target appears to have been genuine criminal ventures rather than sites spouting politically incorrect sentiments or peddling smut.

State-run news agency Xinhua reported that 7,846 sites were axed by the Ministry of Public Security after being involved in “illegal commercial activity”. A further 1m+ posts were deleted and over 1,000 websites were reprimanded as part of the campaign against online black markets.

A whopping 905 suspects were nabbed and a grand total of 53 criminal gangs were effectively eliminated, the report continued. Not bad for a day’s work.

The crackdown was actually the culmination of a three-month operation, with popular sites including online forum Tianya, web portal Sohu and online community site Baidu Tieba all implicated, according to Penn Olson.

Such sites have become increasingly popular among cyber-criminals looking for ways to anonymously buy and sell black market goods - everything from weapons and explosives to phone tapping devices and illegally obtained personal information.

The trio weren’t shut down, but given a warning and told to monitor the content on their pages more closely in future, the report explained.

However, one never knows when it comes to official statements from the Chinese government or one of its propaganda-peddling news wires as to whether such operations are genuinely launched to clamp down on cybercrime or if there is an ulterior motive.

Penn Olson reports that the police were also looking for “illegal harmful information that seriously harms the stability of society”, which to all intents and purposes means information that would be otherwise be censored in the People’s Republic.

The Chinese authorities always lump the euphemistically described “harmful content” in with things like online fraud and pornography when they go on their periodic web-purging missions.

The reign of president Hu Jintao has ramped up online censorship in the country with a renewed vigour. Close to half of all Chinese websites were shut down in 2010, for example, according to a study by a leading think tank.

Meanwhile, last November, the government forced 40 of China’s biggest tech firms to practise greater self-censorship, partly in a bid to quell the growing noise coming from micro-blogging and social media sites like the hugely popular Sina Weibo.

The companies themselves, of course, have little choice but to comply. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?