China policing Web sites to curb cybercrime

Shanghai assigns police officers to monitor all Shanghai-registered Web sites for illegal conduct as cybercrimes flourish amid boom in online activities such as e-commerce, report states.

The Chinese city of Shanghai is deploying a team of police officer to monitor all Shanghai-registered Web sites to curb the rise of online crimes, according to Xinhua.

The Chinese news daily reported on Monday that the number of cybercrimes is growing quickly as online shopping and other Internet-related activities flourish. The Shanghai police handled more than 4,700 cases related to the Web in 2011--an annual increase of nearly 44 percent, the report stated, citing figures from the police bureau.

Crimes mainly involve the spread of pornographic information, sale of contraband, conducting online fraud, or gambling, it added.

"Cybercrime is no longer a high-tech crime exclusive to technical professionals. Internet users can use entry-level hacking software and become a real threat on the network," said Lu Weidong, deputy chief of Shanghai police bureau.

"We'll enhance supervision on the Internet and have police oversight for every Web site to scrutinize illegal conduct, similar to how police officers patrol communities in real life."

He added that based on information derived from cases solved previously, local criminal gangs have "achieved an elaborate control system of all aspects of crime, including releasing information, conducting illegal online trade and managing the flow of funds".

According to statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center, more than 66 percent of the city's population is online which is second only to Beijing in the country. There are 800,000 Web sites accessible in Shanghai, Xinhua added.

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