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Thursday, 30 August 2007

Can we help you?

These are animated beat officers that pop up on a Chinese user's browser and walk, bike or drive across the screen warning them to stay away from 'illegal' internet content.

The cartoon alerts will appear every half hour on 13 of China's top portals, including Sohu and Sina, and by the end of the year will appear on all websites registered with Beijing servers, the Beijing Public Security Ministry said in a statement.

The introduction of the animated figures will be part of a campaign to weed out "harmful material and information" and "illicit activities" on the Internet.
"The existence of these problems has affected the healthy development of the Internet, brought harm to the youths' minds, contaminated the social ethos and disrupted the social order."
The male and female cartoon officers, designed for the ministry by Sohu, will offer a text warning to surfers to abide by the law and tips on internet security as they move across the screen in a virtual car, motorcycle or on foot, the Ministry said.

From Beijing Youth Daily, via Chinese E-Govenmence Net: (translated by CDT) , hat tip China Digital Times:
Starting today, when netizens visit all the main portals of Shenzhen city, Guangdong, they will see two cartoon figures "Jingjing" and "Chacha" (Jing Cha = Police). The image of Shenzhen Internet Police will officially be online. From now on, when netizens visit websites and web forums of Shenzhen, they will see these two cartoon police images floating on their screen. Our reporter learned that these are the images of Shenzhen Internet Police, presented by Internet Surveillance Division of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, for the first time in China.

"The main function of Jingjing and Chacha is to intimidate, not to answer questions," our reporter was told by officials in charge of The Internet Security and Surveillance Division of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau.

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