China is expanding its censorship controls to cover text messages sent using mobile phones.

New regulations have been issued to allow mobile phone service providers to police and filter messages for pornographic or fraudulent content.

But analysts fear the real targets are political dissidents.

China’s authorities are gradually tightening control over the spread of electronic information, particularly on the internet.

A Paris-based group, Reporters Without Borders, says the Chinese authorities are increasingly using new technology to control information.

It says one Chinese company marketing a system to monitor mobile phone text messages has announced it is watching for “false political rumours” and “reactionary remarks”.

Venus Info Tech Ltd said in a press release that its surveillance system worked by filtering algorithms based on key words and combinations of key words.

More here.