A recruitment ad for virtual cops

Jingjing and Chacha, Internet cops.
China's Internet regulators have rolled out a number of initiatives to manage online content, from MII's non-commercial site registration in 2005, to last year's cartoon "Internet police" (shown here), to the latest campaign to use "virtual cops" to clean up illicit activity by the end of June.

Where does the manpower for all this activity come from? Ran Yunfei ran across a job posting for "Skynet" monitors and posted it on his blog. Ran interprets the position as one for these "Internet police"; other references to the "Skynet" project (天网工程) make it out to be a system of cameras installed throughout Chengdu. However, most of his comments are relevant under either interpretation.

Recruitment ad for web cops

by Ran Yunfei

Not long ago I received a recruitment ad for web cops. Since it was posted in a public place, and since it is a public notice, as a citizen with a relatively high level of consciousness, I have a responsibility to advertise it in passing; this is a responsibility to the organs of the autocracy. But some words were blurred by the rain, so some areas could not be made out completely and require an explanation. First, whether the starting age in "basic conditions for candidates" #4 is 20 or 20-something is not clear; applicants should use the published figure. Second, the registration period in "registration and qualification inspection": to learn the first day of registration, I found a post on Dujiangyan Online that listed registration as the 16th to the 21st; but the end date was clearly the 20th. So I used only the starting date from the forum post. Third, in "contract hiring" line 3: in the line, "handled according to the articles of the contract," "according to" and "articles" were not clear, so I filled them in by guesswork. I ask people who are interested in testing to look at an unadultrated original. Fourth, the "0" in the first phone number 87110896 was guessed according to a smudged character; please look for the actual number.

Now let us start with a few math questions and essay questions:

1. Dujiangyan is a county-level city - a county-level work unit. A county recruits 96 web cops; how many counties are there in the entire country (including provincial capitals and districts under centrally-administered municipalities)? How many new web cops does the country need to recruit (not including currently-employed web cops)?

2. At a monthly-salary of 1300 yuan (this is just the public amount; privately we have no idea). Dujiangyan will spend 124,800 yuan (124.8 thousand yuan) monthly and 1,497,600 (1.4976 million yuan) annually. At this price, how much money will the entire country spend (naturally, this does not include other money like equipment fees, since we can find the public quotes for the Skynet Project)? For a conservative estimate, calculating at 2000 counties, then the fees spent across the country on hiring new web cops will reach 2,995,200,000 yuan (that is, 2.9952 billion yuan). How much of this expense is necessary?

3. How many people are in Dujiangyan; what is the average number of people per new web cop?

4. How many of these web cops are monitoring speech? Is this a violation of the constitution? How many people will be punished for their speech annually?

5: As taxpayers, do we have cause to know who authorized this sum spent on web cops? Was there deliberation? If there was no deliberation, then was it in accordance with financial procedure, and if was not, then why is still in use?

6: Is there bloodline theory here? Is there discrimination? If there is, then why does an administrative organ openly violate the law?

7: The web cop recruitment conditions state imposingly, "have a close relative, or a distant relative who has been a major life influence, who has been sentenced to death or who has engaged in overseas activities to topple the government; have a close relative, or a distant relative who has been a major life influence, who is the subject of an unresolved criminal investigation." What does this mean? What law has prescribed this condition? If there is none, then is it illegal? Huang Yilong, an essayist and my senior, critiqued this saying "Young friends may not know that this kind of prohibitive the very same as those "organizational principles" from thirty years ago, where people who had family members who were so-called "killed, imprisoned, or disciplined" were not allowed to be used in "critical positions." This is an extremely arbitrary rule; in theory, it belongs to reactionary bloodline theory; in the law, it is discrimination based on personal identity; I had thought that it had long ago "retired from the stage of history," but now I've run across it again in Chengdu, calling itself "harmonious tolerence, wise sincerity, practically creative." What a happy meeting! However, search the relevant statutes and it seems like the majority of critical positions do not use this kind of rule. For extremely critical offices like the president of the country, for example, or the premier of the government, our election law does not have this kind of prohibition. This causes one to wonder: what is it exactly that a 'professional Skynet monitoring magager' does that is more important than the national president or premier?"

Dujiangyan Personnel Bureau
Dujiangyan Public Security Bureau
Notice about recruitment of professional "Skynet" monitoring managers

Work needs require the recruitment of 96 professional "Skynet" monitor manager; pertinent information is included below:

1. Position name
Professional 'Skynet' monitoring manager, 96 individuals (10 women)

2. Recruitment scope and target
Any individuals with a vocational diploma or higher (recognized by the State Education Commission), who is a long-term resident of Dujiangyan and who fits the position requirements and the registration conditions may apply.

3. Basic conditions for the candidate
(a) Possess PRC citizenship and a citizen's political rights;
(b) Support CPC leaders; love socialism;
(c) Respect the law, have an upright character, dedicated to work, and possessed of a spirit of serving the people;
(d) Men must be at least 1.68 meters tall; women at least 1.55 meters. In good health with all five senses; no communicable diseases; not hard of hearing; no internal hemorrhoids; age between 20 and 30; unassisted vision at least 4.8;
(e) Must know Mandarin, be able to use a calculator;
(f) Individuals who fit any of the following may not apply:
i. Been subject to criminal punishment, public security penalties, reform through labor, or juvenile discipline;
ii. Been subject to administrative discipline or who have had their status revoked;
iii. Currently the subject of an unresolved criminal investigation;
iv. Immoral, or have engaged in improper acts such as hooliganism or peeping;
v. Have a close relative, or a distant relative who has been a major life influence, who has been sentenced to death or who has engaged in overseas activities to topple the government;
vi. Have a close relative, or a distant relative who has been a major life influence, who is the subject of an unresolved criminal investigation.

4. Registration and review of qualifications
(a) Registration time and place
Registration time: 2007/04/16-20; place: PSB reception room
(b) Registration materials
Applicants must bring their residential ID card, their household registration, their diploma, unemployment card, discharge certificate (original), two photos (bare-headed 1 cm) to the designated place at the designated time and must fill in the Contractual Professional "Skynet" Monitoring Manager Qualification Inspection Form (two copies) for review.

5: Tests and administrative review
(a) Recruits should come to the registration location on 24 April 2007 to confirm their review status and obtain a test certificate.
(b) Computer exam will be held on 25 April 2007.
(c) Culture exam will be held on 28 April 2007.
(d) Physical checkup will be held on 8 May 2007.
(e) Interview will be held in one session on 11 May 2007.
(f) Group inspection will be held on 16 May 2007.
(g) Interviews, administrative review, and test results will be announced on 21 May 2007.

6. Contract signing
(a) For candidates who pass review by the administrators, the test, and the interview, a contract will be signed between the employer and the recruit.
(b) The probationary contract will last three months. At the end of the three month probation, satisfactory recruits will sign a formal employment contract. If within the probationary period there are violations, the employer may refuse the offer contingent on the specific situation.
(c) The contract comes in three copies and is prepared by the municipal personnel bureau. The contract lasts for one year; at the end of the contract period the employer will determine on the basis of work conditions whether to extend the contract; should the employer decide not to extend the contract, or should the employee wish to resign, then things will be handled according to the contract stipulations. Disputes will be resolved according to state law and relevant departmental regulations.

7. Salary and benefits
Monthly salary; retirement, medical, and unemployment insurance (according to relevant national regulations, paid by the employer). Salary: wages contingent on performance assessment; holiday and overtime wages; uniform fees. Total: 1300 per person per month.
For the latest information, please inquire at the Dujiangyan Municipal Personnel Bureau and Public Security Bureau: 87110896, 87112383, 87132216

2007.04.13 (seals of Dujiangyan Personnel Bureau, Dujiangyan Public Security Bureau)

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There are currently 3 Comments for A recruitment ad for virtual cops.

Comments on A recruitment ad for virtual cops


Every reference I've seen to Skynet has been CCTV (closed circuit, not the other one) networks for cities. It goes by the same name (天网) in other cities besides Chengdu. I don't think this is about webcops.

Thanks, davesgonechina. I tend to agree with you. His arguments about money and discrimination still make sense if the CCTV project is taken nation-wide, but the prohibition on dissident family members is all the more absurd.

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