Punishments administered by the police
Enacted in 1997, the above-mentioned CL provisions prohibiting the dissemination ofpornography do not specifically address the online situation. Another important piece of legislation, the Law on Administrative Punishments for Public Order and Security (LAPPOS), however, has taken the online scenarios into account. Article 68 of the LAPPOS stipulates that anyone who produces, transports, duplicates, sells or rents out any obscene articles (consisting of books, pictures, motion pictures or audiovisuals), or disseminates obscene information via computer networks, telephones or any other telecommunication devices shall be detained for a period of 10 to 15 days and subjected to a fine of up to 3,000 yuan; for less serious cases, he or she shall be detained for a period of up to five days or subjected to a fine of up to 500 yuan. (As ofmid-2013, one U. S. dollar equals 6.13 yuan.) In mainland China, the police are empowered by the LAPPOS to punish, without court trials and convictions, various unlawful acts that disrupt public order or impair public security, or infringe the rights of the person and property rights of citizens, but are not serious enough to attract criminal liability or sanctions under the CL.
In sum, anyone who produces or disseminates obscene articles or information can be arrested and punished under the LAPPOS or the CL, depending on how serious their acts are. It is noteworthy that these laws do not punish the mere possession of obscene articles, or, arguably, the possession of child pornography and extreme pornography. Nor is there any provision in the laws in mainland China that prohibits or restricts the dissemination of indecent articles to minors.