Chinese Cartoon Web Cops

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Image released Tuesday August 28, 2007 by the Beijing Public Security Bureau

Chinese Cartoon Cops Patrolling Websites

In the footsteps of Shenzhen Internet Police, the police in China's capital, Beijing, will start patrolling websites registered on Beijing servers using animated police officers that pop up in a user's browser. From September, 1st, Beijing's new virtual cops will be active on 13 of China's portals, including China's biggest blog-hosting services, and By the end of the year, the virtual police's patrols are expected to cover all websites registered with Beijing servers. According to the Associated Press, the cartoon cops can "walk, bike or drive across the screen" every 30 minutes, warning Internet users to stay away from "illegal Internet content" and "bad websites".

"We will continue to promote new images of the virtual police and update our Internet security tips in an effort to make the image of the virtual police more user friendly and more in tune with how web surfers use the Internet," the Beijing Public Security Ministry said in a statement issued yesterday.

According to the statement, these cartoons officers will offer police help to Internet users. Clicking on the cartoon images will redirect users to the authority's web site. But is this the main purpose of China's new Big Brother and Big Sister?

Last year, on January 17, 2006, Global-voices co-founder, Rebecca MacKinnon, reported a similar story (more…)

(via: Global Voices Advocacy)



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