In an attempt to further restrict what the people of China can and can't look at on the Internet, the Chinese government have turned their attention to blogs. Beijing has decreed that there are to be stricter controls on blogs and search engines to bar content thought to be immoral or unhealthy, it was announced on Friday. This comes at a time where President Hu Jintao's government is conducting a media crackdown, with a number of "unsuitable" websites being shutdown completely.

"As more and more illegal and unhealthy information spreads through the blog and search engine, we will take effective measures to put the BBS, blog and search engine under control," said Cai Wu, director of the Information Office of China's Cabinet, quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency.
The Chinese government is to additionally step up research on monitoring technology which could help to enforce these measures further. Blogs have become a cause for concern given their increasing popularity - China has 37 million Web logs, and a study by Beijing's Tsinghua University claims that this is set to double to 60 million this year. This free spread of thoughts and ideas has been identified as a potential threat to the attempts of the Chinese government to block access to obscene or subversive material. These new rules come on the back of a proposed law banning media from reporting "sudden events" without prior permission - basically, the Chinese government is making it illegal to report on news without their approval.