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January 28, 2010

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Expo needs online volunteers

THE city should recruit volunteers to protect the official World Expo 2010 Websites from hackers, a top political advisory body member said yesterday at the annual session of the Shanghai Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

You Minjian said the volunteers should also provide online services for anyone interested in the Expo.

You said although the city was recruiting about 170,000 volunteers to serve the event at pavilions and on the Expo site, there were no volunteers assigned to serve online.

"The security of the Websites has been a great challenge facing us, as the Expo Online is expecting Web traffic exceeding 100 million," said You. "Measures should be taken immediately to ensure safe Internet browsing during the event."

You said the volunteers' main job should be maintaining online security, especially the protection of the official Websites for World Expo from hackers, network breakdowns, and other problems which would affect visitors' online experiences.

The volunteers could also promote the World Expo and introduce the event to people all over the world via the Internet, and answer visitors' questions online by offering real-time Q&A sessions.

You also advised the government, together with the volunteers, to search for and shut down Websites that provide pornographic or obscene content during the event, as another way to ensure online security.

The Expo Online will be an extension of the real World Expo, combining 3D exhibitions, events and interactive activities.

Expo organizers said the major problems were how to prevent crashes and hacker attacks, filter illegal content and preventing unsafe third-party links.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, the Shanghai government and the Expo organizer have set up several firewalls to prevent hackers' attacking the Websites, said Wang Liping, deputy director of the Communication and Promotion Department of the Expo bureau.

The organizer has set up more than 100 servers for the Website so that more than 300,000 people can browse the site at the same time, Wang said.

Some spare servers will be on stand-by in case either the Expo Online or the official Expo Website breaks down, Wang said.


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