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More than 500 cities have established internet police bureaus.

The Public Security Ministry has even introduced a male and female pair of characters in police uniforms that can pop up on person’s screen when a sensitive website is sought out to remind them their activities can be monitored.

Michael Wines wrote in the New York Times, The mushrooming growth of China’s Internet business has spawned a sort of land rush for regulatory turf by government agencies that see in it a chance to gain more authority or more money, or both.

Others have interests in Internet-related ventures like the sale of censorship software that could prove to be lucrative sources of income.

[Source: Michael Wines, New York Times, May 4, 2011] As of early 2007, the government had shut down more than 700 online forums and websites and blocked more than 10,000 sites.

including thousands of popular news, political and religious sites.

China, in the opinion of many, has the most extensive Internet censorship system in the world.

The government has spent tens of millions--perhaps hundreds of millions--of dollars on filters and other blocking devices to prevent the spread of information over the Internet.

Former Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi wrote in the New York Review of Books, “The regime’s curbs on the Internet today range from filtering out large numbers of “sensitive” terms to simply unplugging the Web in an entire region for weeks on end.When Beijing hosted the twenty-ninth Olympic Games in the summer of 2008, the authorities, with their international face at stake, loosened Internet controls temporarily, but as soon as the games were over they returned controls to normal.[Source: Fang Lizhi, New York Review of Books, November 10, 2011] China constantly strives to exert its control over the Internet, blocking content it deems politically sensitive as part of a vast censorship system.A special 30,000-member police unit checks chat lines, looks for spikes in Internet traffic, monitors and screens websites and blogs for sensitive material and blocks access to violators.Advanced technoloy is deployed to block access to overseas websites regarded as threatening.China has purchased much of its filtering and spying equipment from the American companies like Cisco Systems and Dynamic Internet technology.

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