Feeds

Beijing to get free Wi-Fi with obvious strings attached

Mobile number needed to access 480,000 hotspots

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Over the next five years Beijing will get 480,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots, but using them will require a mobile number and an agreement to have your activities tracked and monitored.

The network is being put together by China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, and will be free to use for least the next three years. However, access will require one to hand over your mobe's number, which can be used to "trace those whose online activity might endanger social security", China.org was told.

The Beijing network could well be the largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world, with 90,000 hotpots to be live by the end of 2011 and another 390,000 being connected over the next five years. But by the time it's finished time users might be expected to pay for access as well as being tracked at every turn, as free access is only being offered until the tail end of 2014.

Not that locals seems worried about government snooping: internet usage is already notoriously restricted in China. The real concern is that creating a link between a mobile phone number and a web browsing history (plus a physical location) will open the door to even more mobile spam.

The Chinese are bombarded with advertising pushed to their handsets, and some argue that a few more ads won't make a significant difference. The state's officials are saying the data won’t be sold off to private companies, but Beijing residents don't seem to be as trusting as the wonks might hope. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.