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Naughty Siri breaks law by listing Chinese escorts

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Voice-activated digital assistant Siri has discovered a rebellious streak which could put it on collision course with the Chinese authorities, after appearing to answer user requests on where to find pornography and prostitutes.

It seems Siri is a lot more worldly wise than its pre-teen age would have us believe, apparently returning numerous dubious local listings for escort services, nightclubs and other entertainment venues when prompted by the commend: "I want to visit prostitutes”.

It has also been caught helping out local users in the People’s Republic with requests for pornographic content, according to TechInAsia.

While Siri has been found to respond readily to similarly adult requests in its English language guise, it would appear rather more risky to do so in China where pornography and prostitution are illegal and those found breaking the law can face heavy penalties.

Apple itself appears to be turning a blind eye to Siri’s adult tastes despite banning sexually explicit apps – in fact, Steve Jobs famously declared that the closed ecosystem he helped build gave users “freedom from porn”.

It remains to be seen whether the authorities in China decide to wade into the debate.

Chinese police periodically cleanse the web of illegal content, but in this there’s no delineation between cyber crime in the western sense of the word – phishing, malware etc – or pornography and gambling sites.

In fact, a major porn site was cracked back in July with 2,000 suspects arrested on suspicion of both content creation and consumption.

In the latest PR drive before the big Communist Party leadership change-over next month, the police announced the arrest of 9,000 cyber criminals last week.

Siri may have to watch her step if she is to avoid a similar fate. ®</p

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