Warning on Internet 'preachers'

National security is being undermined as hostile foreign forces use the Internet to preach democracy and human rights to the mainland, a lawmaker warned on Tuesday.

National security is being undermined as hostile foreign forces use the Internet to preach democracy and human rights to the mainland, a lawmaker warned on Tuesday.

CHINA (SCMP.com) - Xinhua quoted Yu Enguang, a member of the foreign affairs committee of the National People's Congress, as saying the rapid growth of the new medium represented a threat to security.

"With the rapid development of the information network, the problem of Web safety has become conspicuous," Yu said. "Foreign hostile forces use the Internet to carry out reactionary activities and sabotage, [and to] publicise what the West calls 'democracy' and 'human rights'."

He warned that the mainland risked leakage of sensitive information as more government bodies established Web sites and used the Internet to communicate.

There was too much reliance on foreign technology. "We've done very little to develop ourselves," he said.

"Some were even glad to use encryption software given them by foreign companies." Yu called for new laws and regulations on areas such as hacking and the spread of "unhealthy information" on the Internet.

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