Chinese police have apprehended over 15,000 suspects for offenses that "jeopardized Internet security," as part of the government’s efforts to tighten internet security.
Since he became the president of the People’s Republic of China in 2013, Xi Jinping has maintained a ruthless crackdown on the country’s Internet, which the Communist Party considers of great significance as it seeks to contain researchers and dissidents.
In a formal statement on its official website, the country’s Ministry Of Public Security said the police have carefully looked into 7400 cases of ‘internet crime.’ The statement was not clear on the period over which the arrests were executed, but made reference to a cybercrime case dating back to December of 2014.
Last month, the government of China established a six-month program with the code name "Cleaning the Internet."
In an official statement, the ministry said, "For the next step, the public security organs will continue to increase their investigation and crackdown on cyber crimes."
The ministry added that the ‘internet cleansing’ campaign would also focus on cracking noteworthy cases and completely destroying internet-based criminal gangs.
The primary targets of the sweep were those websites publishing "illegal and harmful information" and advertising such social ills as gambling, firearms, pornography and explosives.
According to reliable reports, the police had investigated about 66,000 websites.
China’s online censorship systems, commonly referred to as the Great Firewall, are among the most sophisticated restriction mechanisms in the world. Censors are extremely keen on what cannot be published, specifically any material that could possibly destabilize the power of the ruling Communist Party.
In February, China’s online supervisory body announced that it would disallow all online accounts that masquerade as organizations or people with effect from March 1st, and put into effect the requirement for people to use their actual names when signing up for any online accounts.