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China moves closer to a smut-free internet

Now also free of political dissent and annoying Tibetans

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China, which last week effectively ended its citizens' right to register a .cn web address, will now only allow access to websites which have been fully registered with the authorities. Individuals will now need a business licence to register a web address.

The Ministry of Industry and Information released more details of measures it says are designed to remove pornographic content from China's version of the internet. The reality is that changes are likely to remove a lot more than just smut.

The five points include a blacklist of individuals who have previously breached the rules to stop them registering new domains.

The Ministry will also tighten existing registration requirements and more importantly websites which are not registered will not resolve for Chinese surfers. Obviously millions of sites which are not based in China do not typically bother to register with MIIT. These sites will now be invisible in China.

MIIT has already banned three companies from offering domain name services until they tighten up procedures.

Assuming the scheme goes ahead it will effectively create a white list of websites deemed acceptable for Chinese citizens to visit. If you're not on the list, no Chinese resident is going to be able to see your website. Danwei.org has more details.

The changes will also hit domestic Chinese websites which pre-date the registration requirements - they will now also need to register. ®

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