The U.S. State Department says China is at the top of a list of countries around the globe that are taking measures to control use of the Internet.

Assistant Secretary of State Barry Lowenkron told reporters Tuesday, that China tops the list in terms of using technology to control Internet use.

He made his remarks during a press conference to release the State Department's annual report on human rights.

Although the Chinese government encourages what it calls "healthy" Internet use, the U.S. report says that China continues to tighten its control by monitoring its use, controlling content and restricting access to information.

The report says by the end of 2006, Media rights group Reporters Without Borders said 31 journalists and 52 Internet writers were in jail.

The report says that over the past year, China has expanded its definition of illegal content and consistently blocked access to sites it deems controversial.

The report also notes that the Chinese government's human rights record deteriorated in some areas last year. It notes that there was an increased number of high-profile cases involving monitoring, harassment, detention and imprisonment of activists, journalists, and writers as well as defense lawyers.