July 22, 2014 10:04 pm

China cracking down on online porn, ‘rumourmongers’

In this Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 file photo, computer users sit near a display with a message from the Chinese police on the proper use of the internet at an internet cafe in Beijing, China.

Ng Han Guan, AP Photo/File

BEIJING – Chinese authorities are tightening already rigorous Internet controls by cracking down on online pornography and what state media called “rumourmongers” and “slanderous content.”

The state news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday that the country would target pornography on smartphones and punish pornographic app creators.

Xinhua said the government would also increase punishments for spreading rumours online. Already, Chinese courts can sentence people for up to three years in prison for writing online comments deemed defamatory. The government has already shut down websites and punished nearly 40 people it called rumourmongers.

China enforces some of the world’s tightest online controls and often prosecutes bloggers and political activists by accusing them of spreading rumours. A Beijing court sentenced a blogger in April to three years in prison for defaming celebrities and the government.

© The Associated Press, 2014

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