|Media watchdogs have labelled China’s Government an ‘enemy of the Internet’ after the publication of tough new regulations governing audio and visual content in the country.|
Jointly issued by the Ministry of Information Industry and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the new regulations go into affect at the end of the month and are designed to crack down on the explosion of audio-visual content on the Internet. The Government stated that sexual and politically sensitive materials would not be tolerated under the new rules and that only State-controlled entities would have the right to operate websites that post audio-visual content.
“Those who provide Internet audio and video services should insist on serving the people, serving socialism and abide by the moral code of socialism,” read a Government notice.
According to the notice, all content must be free of violence, sex and gambling and cannot reveal State secrets or portray morally, socially or politically harmful situations.
“These regulations have been formulated to safeguard the interests of the nation and the public and to safeguard the healthy and orderly development of audio-visual services,” read the notice.
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders stated that China’s Government is an ‘enemy of the Internet’ for blocking thousands of sites and jailing people who post information authorities do not like.
Under the new rules, websites offering audio-visual services must get a broadcast license that is renewable every three years. The rules also prescribe fines for companies and senior managers found to be in breech of the policies.
“Those applying for Internet audio-visual service licenses must at the same time be solely State-owned enterprises or enterprises whose shares are controlled by the State,” read the notice.