China is again cracking down on the Internet by banning posted information that is considered "harmful to the security of the nation," a category that includes pornographic material.
The Shanghai Post and Telecommunications Administration Bureau, which oversees China's Internet activity, has asked users to sign a set of rules that makes it illegal for users to produce or receive pornography, according to a Bloomberg news service report. The rules also require users to receive approval before using the Internet for commercial purposes.
In February, China required Internet users to register with the government or receive "severe" punishment. A month before that, the Chinese government released a statement that expressed concern about the lack of control it has over content and said it was drafting appropriate measures to establish that control.
Today's announcement is apparently the first of what the government considers "appropriate measures."
Despite such government controls, China's Internet population is expected to reach 1 million by the year 2000, up from 120,000 this year, according to Xinhua, a news agency run by the Chinese government.