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No internet for soldiers

The Chinese military just made it harder for its bachelors to find a date.

world Updated: Jun 02, 2011 02:46 IST
HT Correspondent

The Chinese military just made it harder for its bachelors to find a date.

The world’s largest standing army has been marched out of social networking and matchmaking sites in the world’s largest Internet community of nearly 500 million Chinese netizens including over 100 million bloggers.

The restrictions, announced during an ongoing crackdown on dissidence and expanding firewalls, forbid soldiers from watching or listening to political programmes from foreign media, publishing political information online or starting personal websites and blogs.

The military personnel are banned from using the Internet outside the army offices without permission.

The orders were dispatched to prevent soldiers from leaking military secrets, said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily. The notice, which asked soldiers to improve ‘self-discipline’ was issued from the general staff headquarters and the general political department of the PLA to the military and armed police.

The state media said that Chinese soldiers had revealed a pattern of surfing the Internet mainly to click on social networking sites, matchmaking sites, blogs and WAP sites for mobile phones.

"Since social networking and matchmaking websites usually require users to submit personal information such as occupation, address and contact details, soldiers risk revealing locations of military camps and their contacts when communicating online,’’ said the Global Times on Wednesday. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/02_06_11_pg18a.jpg

The reports said there were cases of soldiers who revealed ‘military secrets’ by uploading photos in uniform or during military training, which could be used by "enemy agents" to gather intelligence.

Soldiers heading for retirement are being warned not to post resumes online.