11:07 GMT26 February 2020
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    Virtual cops to patrol cyberspace in China from Sept. 1

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    Two "virtual" police will start patrolling the Internet in China from September 1 to help combat pornography and other illegal activities, Chinese media reported Wednesday.

    BEIJING, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Two "virtual" police will start patrolling the Internet in China from September 1 to help combat pornography and other illegal activities, Chinese media reported Wednesday.

    Images of Internet police - a man and a woman - will appear on motorcycles, in a car or on foot on the screens of computer users every 30 minutes to remind them of Internet security. By clicking on the icons, users will be connected to the website of the Beijing municipal public security bureau, where they can report porn sites or illicit activities.

    "It is our duty to wipe out information that does the public harm and disrupts social order," The China Daily quoted Zhao Hongzhi, deputy chief of the bureau's Internet surveillance center, as saying.

    Virtual police will first guard the country's major Internet portals, and by the end of the year will monitor all websites and online forums registered in Beijing.

    Virtual cops will also monitor websites that incite separatism, or promote superstition, gambling and fraud, the paper quoted a bureau official as saying.

    To date, the bureau has detected 128,000 Web pages with pornographic content and closed down 244 pornographic sites, The China Daily said.

    "We have achieved visible results in recent months but there is still a long way to go. The virtual cops will better communicate with netizens and improve our efficiency," the paper quoted Zhao as saying.

    China has 163 million Internet users, while the number of Beijing netizens, or cyber-citizens, totals 5.4 million people.

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