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Posted 27 Feb 2001 22:35:41 UTC

In an apparent attempt to make its citizens the true Moral Majority, the Chinese government is once again tackling the issue of impurity and all around nasty thoughts on the Internet.

The solution comes in the form of software known as "Internet Police 110." (You just can't make this stuff up.) According to a police official, "it will prevent users from getting unhealthy information from foreign and domestic web sites." Unless, of course, it's state sanctioned.

In case you're wondering why it's called Internet Police 110, it's not because there are 109 previous versions nor are they trying to make it sound like a college course. 110 is simply the number one dials in China to get the Real Life Police.

There are three versions of the software for schools, individual homes, and public Internet outlets such as Internet cafes. All of them will block everything from web addresses to email if it comes from an "offensive" address. It's probably very easy to get on that list, especially if you're a human rights organization, an entity that criticizes the Chinese government, or an all around free thinking individual. But it's also easy to figure out ways around the restrictions, much as it is here in the States. The disturbing question is what happens when someone succeeds.

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