Web Surfers Paid to Search for Pornography in China

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The first thought that springs to mind is that there was likely no shortage of candidates for the job.

From an IDG News Service story on our site:

"China has paid cash rewards to more than 200 people who found online porn and reported it to authorities, as a government crackdown on undesirable Web content spreads.

"Authorities gave the people a total of $33,000 as part of a policy to pay citizens for porn tip-offs, the official Xinhua news agency said late Monday. The policy caused a government watchdog's daily number of porn tip-offs from the public to surge by 10 times immediately after it was announced last month, according to Xinhua."

Only 10 times? And while that bounty works out to a scant $165 per person, keep in mind that China's average annual income sits at about $3,200. In other words, Chinese porn cop is nice work if you can get it, all snickering about fringe benefits aside.

China reportedly shut down some 15,000 porn purveyors last year and is about to launch a crackdown on naughty text messaging, which should open up yet more income opportunities for the enterprising informant.

The bounties being paid to Chinese porn hunters are but the latest in a long-running and increasingly harsh crackdown that has recently featured a sweep resulting in more than 5,000 arrests and the closing of a number of popular BitTorrent sites.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has added a new twist to its push-back against Google's decision to rethink its capitulation to that nation's censorship demands in the wake of cyber-attacks suffered by the search giant.

From another IDG story:

"When asked about Google's allegation that cyberattacks launched from China hit the U.S. search giant, foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Chinese companies were also often hit by cyberattacks.

" 'China is the biggest victim of hacking attacks,' Ma said, citing the example of top Chinese search engine Baidu.com being hacked last week."

The spokesman would neither confirm nor deny whether the Chinese government was responsible for the Baidu hack (OK, I made that up).

This story, "Web Surfers Paid to Search for Pornography in China" was originally published by Network World.

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