With already some of the harshest Internet restrictions in the world, China has recently announced that police will be placed in-house at major Chinese Internet companies. The responsibilities of the police in these companies will be to combat a wide variety of issues, with the broadest category being defined as pornography. By keeping this definition wide, police members can shut down social media accounts and activist websites. Will these restrictions ever stop or has China established a precedent that this censorship will forever be a way of life?
The ministry did not disclose which companies it will embed police officers in or when the initiative will go into effect, but it said it has sent notices to China Mobile, the country’s largest telecom, e-commerce giant Alibaba, WeChat owner Tencent, and online security company Qihoo 360. In a press statement, Alibaba said “Alibaba works with Chinese authorities to combat illegal and criminal activities on the internet. It is our priority to maintain the reliability and security of our platforms to protect our customers.” TechCrunch has also contacted Baidu, China’s largest search engine, and Tencent for comment. While many of China’s 649 million Internet users will continue to figure out ways to access censored content, the government has shown repeatedly that it is ready to adapt the Great Firewall with even more rigorous limitations.