BEIJING - Most youth crime in China can be blamed on negative influences from
violent or pornographic Web sites, a police spokesman said on Thursday,
justifying the country's latest crackdown on the Internet.
"In recent years from the cases we have discovered, the proportion of young
people guilty of cheating, rape or robbery who are given to using the Internet
or have been corrupted by online filth, is very high," spokesman Wu Heping said.
"Our preliminary figures for arrested youth criminals is that almost 80
percent of them have been seduced by the Internet," he told a news conference.
"It makes people very pained to know that crimes are committed by people
corrupted by obscene pictures and images," Wu said.
Last week China announced a new campaign against Internet pornography that
would also take aim at fraud, illegal lotteries and "rumour-spreading" to
protect the country's mainly young Internet users from "negative online
influences", state media said.
"The public security system will uphold the law during this campaign and also
take tips from the public to clean up the pure space of the Internet," Wu added.
Last November a Chinese court sentenced the founder of the country's largest
pornography Web site to life imprisonment.
Pornography was among the vices almost wiped out in China under the strict,
puritanical rule of Mao Zedong. But since economic reforms began and social
controls were loosened, it has become more readily available.
China has an army of cyber police who patrol the Internet for unfavourable
content, but their targets are more often politically sensitive subjects than
pornography or online scams.