CHINESE AUTHORITIES have tightened their grip on the internet and have arrested four people and interviewed many others in a crackdown on online communications.
The Chinese authorities closely control the web it that country, and communications there happen behind what is referred to as the Great Firewall of China and a very furrowed government brow.
China has a huge online population, but it is one that has to abide by strict and well published rules. Dissent has continued though, and the pressure from government authorities keeps ratcheting up.
According to the local Xinhau news agency four "rumour mongers" were arrested at the end of last week, and some 80 others were interviewed.
The newspaper reported that police made the arrests and that those arrested could be sentenced to as long as three years in prison and lose some of their rights.
Chinese internet regulations apparently provide that people who post messages that could be considered "rumours" can be jailed if those rumour posts are viewed by 5,000 users or forwarded some 500 times.
16 websites are also involved and apparently have been shut down as part of the enforcement operation.
While China has a reputation for limiting internal use of communications it does not seem to have the same respect for overseas systems and is regularly accused of peering into and taking information out of international and industry targets.
In recent weeks it has distanced itself from overseas providers. We have reported about potential Chinese blocks on hardware, including the iPad, software, including security tools from Kaspersky, and Windows 8. µ
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