Chinese Police Arrest 15,000 for Cyber Crimes

15,000 people have been arrested in China for crimes that were said to "jeopardise internet security" as the government tightens controls on the internet.

The ministry of public security said 7,400 cybercrime cases were investigated by the police but did not state when the arrests were made.

The crackdown targeted websites providing "illegal and harmful information" or advertisements for "pornography, firearms and explosives and gambling". 66,000 websites were investigated in total.

China launched a six month programme last month codenamed "Cleaning The Internet".

The ministry said: "For the next step, the public security organs will continue to increase their investigation and crackdown on cybercrimes."

China currently runs one of the world's most sophisticated online censorship mechanisms known as the Great Firewall. The censors keep a tight grip on what material can be published; especially material that could potentially undermine the ruling Communist party.

Back in February, China's internet watchdog said that from the beginning of March it would ban internet accounts that impersonate people or organisations and enforce requirements for people to use their real names when registering online accounts.

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