5 May 2011

New internet control agency in China

6:38 am on 5 May 2011

A new government agency has been set up in China to control information on the internet.

The State Internet Information Office will take over responsibility from a number of lower-ranking directorates.

The BBC reports it will enable the government to keep a tighter grip on the content available to Chinese internet-users inside the country.

China is often criticised for its strict internet censorship. Websites deemed sensitive by the government are routinely blocked.

Web users are banned from viewing some Western news websites and social-networking sites like Facebook.

The new agency brings technical and political control over the internet under one body, with Information Minister Wang Chen in charge.