China will set up "online police stations" at key websites to strengthen internet security amid escalating conflict with the US over allegations of hacking and cyber attacks, state-run media reported today.
Online police, who are responsible for openly inspecting the operation of websites and enforcing laws governing online activities, should work hard to uncover and prevent various illegal acts online, Chen Zhimin, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said yesterday.
It will still be a tough battle to fight online crimes, such as Cyber-attack, transmission of violent messages, fraud, identity theft and illegal conducts involving gambling, drugs and pornography which have become a prominent problem affecting national security and social stability, he said at a conference over security of major websites and online services.
Chen said more efforts should be made to provide online police service through "online police stations", which are designed to learn about suspected online crimes and guide websites to increase their abilities to stay safe, state-run People's Daily reported. He also stressed that websites should have self-discipline in refraining from publicising sensitive events and vulgar information, which may lead to crime.
The Online Police stations were announced in the backdrop of reports that the US, which has been accusing China of hacking the key data of the top commercial firms, is considering retaliatory measures against China. Last week, China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted US media reports as saying that President Barack Obama's administration has determined to retaliate against China for its alleged theft of personnel information of more than 20 million Americans from the database of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), but the forms and specific measures of the retaliation have not been decided.
The report added that Obama has allegedly ordered his staff to come up with "a more creative set of responses," while a US official hinted that America will employ "a full range of tools to tailor a response." The decision to set up online police stations came amid a growing chorus in the US calling for action against China for the alleged massive breach of the OPM computer networks.
China has repeatedly stated that it is against all forms of cyber attacks and will crack down on them, as it has long been a major victim of such illegal activities, many of which originated from the US. China has also called for conducting cooperation with the US side and any other country to protect cyber security and its peaceful order.