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China official's comments on Internet control

BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior Chinese official told companies to support the government’s Internet controls on Thursday, suggesting scant room for compromise with Google after the company threatened to quit China over censorship and hacking.

Here are key quotes from Wang Chen, the minister of the State Council Information Office, who did not mention Google in his comments, which appeared on the office’s website and in state media. The Information Office is a public relations arm of the Chinese government.

INTERNET WORRIES

“China’s Internet is entering an important stage of development, confronting both rare opportunities and severe challenges.”

“The Internet is bringing massive changes to social life, as well as making life much more convenient for many, but at the same time problems with Internet security are increasingly stark.”

Wang said the main security problems on the Internet included “the severe threat to the physical and mental health of minors from Internet pornography.” He also listed hacker attacks, and Internet viruses and fraud.

DEMANDING STRICTER INTERNET CONTROLS

“Truly ensuring the secure operation of the Internet and its information flow is ensuring national security and the fundamental interests of the people.

“In some sense, the greater the reach and influence of Internet media, the greater are the demands on them for security and reliability, and the greater the responsibilities they shoulder for Internet security.

“The Internet sector must fully grasp the major significance of ensuring Internet security and constantly enhance its sense of responsibility, urgency and mission.”

CONTROLLING OPINION ON THE INTERNET

“We must make truly improving our capacity to guide opinion on the Internet a major measure for protecting Internet security. Our country is at a crucial stage of reform and development, and this is a period of marked social conflicts ... Properly guiding Internet opinion is a major measure for protecting Internet information security.

“Internet media must always make nurturing positive, progressive mainstream opinion an important duty.

“Currently, the Internet gives space for spreading rumors and issuing false information and other actions that diminish confidence, and this is causing serious damage to society and the public interest.”

HACKING AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

“To ensure Internet security, we should thoroughly strengthen international exchanges and cooperation.

“In 2008, Internet attacks on China coming from abroad increased in volume by 148 percent. China is a victim country of hacker attacks, and China resolutely opposes hacking.”

Wang said that in a crackdown on Internet pornography in recent years, a government call center had received more than 80,000 complaints and “the great majority concerned Internet sites and servers abroad.

“Therefore, all countries in the world must be active in adopting measures to strengthen effective governance of the Internet, and avoiding Internet problems in their own countries affecting the Internet order of other countries.”

Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Ken Wills

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