China requires filtering in schools

Perhaps a sign that there are more and more computers in the schools of this giant developing country that has more Internet users than the US has population, China is now requiring Net-filtering in schools. “According to the Ministry of Education, local education departments and schools should guide students in different age groups to ‘properly handle cyber world’ and encourage them to report any suspicious websites” as part of its anti-porn campaign, reports. The basic difference between this development in China and the US’s school filtering is a law passed in 2000 (the Children’s Internet Protection Act, or CIPA) that required schools receiving federal “e-rate” technology subsidies to employ filtering. I was surprised that the Chinese government, well-known for its Net censorship skills (when my family was traveling there in 2008, we couldn’t access our travel blog on what was then a very new blogging service called, was only now instituting school filtering – which is why I think this is more a sign of better tech and other resources in Chinese schools than an oversight on the government’s part. China may be “catching up” on the sexting front too: Digital Journal cites China’s Xinhua news service as reporting that “China Mobile, the nation’s largest mobile network carrier, said sending mobile porn, either through photos or messages, could have the phone number revoked permanently.” As for those Net-use numbers, the San Jose Mercury News reports that China has 384 million Internet users. “The number of people going online by mobile phone rose 106% [last year] to 233 million” (8% of whom access the Net only by phone).

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