Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Beijing introduces animated police to patrol Internet

AP , BEIJING

Police in Beijing said they will start patrolling the Web using animated beat officers that pop up on a user's browser and walk, bike or drive across the screen warning them to stay away from illegal Internet content.

Starting on Saturday, the cartoon alerts will appear every half hour on 13 of China's top portals, including Sohu (搜狐) and Sina (新浪) and by the end of the year will appear on all Web sites registered with Beijing servers, the Beijing Public Security Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The animated police appeared designed to startle Web surfers and remind them that authorities closely monitor Web activity. However, the statement did not say whether there were plans to further boost monitoring.

The male and female cartoon officers, designed for the ministry by Sohu, will offer a text warning to surfers to abide by the law and tips on Internet security as they move across the screen in a virtual car, motorcycle or on foot, it said.

If Internet users need police help they can click on the cartoon images and will be redirected to the authority's Web site, it said.

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