Chinese authorities in Tibet have ordered Internet cafes across the region to finish installing state-of-the-art surveillance systems by the end of the month, industry sources and local media said.
“All the Internet cafes must now install it,” said Chen Jianying, head of the customer service department of the industry group Internet Cafes Online.
“This is a nationwide policy which is part of the implementation of the real-name registration system,” Chen said.
According to a report carried on the official China Tibet News website last week titled “Long-range Surveillance of the Internet,” all computers installed in enterprises that offer services to the public must install the system.
The proprietor of an Internet cafe in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, which is still under tight security following widespread Tibetan unrest beginning in March 2008, confirmed the scheme is already in full swing.
He said he had already been to the police station for training in how to run the system.
“The system should be up and running now,” the business owner said. “I heard the technical people saying that the last time I attended a meeting.”
“It’s pretty convenient because they can configure it directly from higher up if the guidelines change.”
He said the new system will mean tighter online controls.
“If there is something that is being controlled, there’s no way anyone will get to see it. It’s definitely a tighter form of control,” he said.
The China Tibet News website also reported that the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government has already inaugurated its long-range surveillance system.
Calls to the cultural department of the TAR government went unanswered during office hours Friday.