China Shuts Down Another 68 Websites

BEIJING - The Chinese government has shut down 68 more websites in its ongoing campaign to crack down on vulgar and pornographic Internet content.

Announced Tuesday, the latest sweep raises the total number of affected sites to 1,575 since the anti-porn campaign began in January. According to the news agency Xinhua, the government office in charge of the online purge has also shut down 148 blogs containing what is classified as pornography or "lewd" content.

Reports indicate that more than half of the "pornographic" sites were based in southeast Chinese provinces, including Jiangsu, Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong. These sites operated by charging users to log in via telephone lines or mobile phones.

Seven government departments, including the State Council's Information Office, Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Culture, began the crackdown by targeting websites. The campaign then extended to mobile-phone games, online novels, blogs, videos and radio programs.

"Further measures will be made to crack down [on] the online porn and lewd content, leaving no space for them on the Internet," the government announced in an official statement.

Thus far, police in China have detained 41 people for distributing porn on the Internet.