Feeds

China to extend real name registration rules

Don't even think of trying to register @FakeMao behind great firewall

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, China is proposing updates to current internet censorship laws which could extend real name registration rules to all blogs and internet forums, tightening its control over user-generated content.

Beijing already requires users of the country’s popular micro-blogging services to register with their real identities if they want to continue posting on the sites, in what has been branded an attempt to increase online accountability and discourage free speech.

Now it is hoping to enshrine those regulations in law with an update to the 12-year-old Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services regulations, as well as extending the rules to any blog or online forum.

The sites in question will bear responsibility for the content posted on them – self censorship being a cheaper and in many ways more effective strategy for the central government.

The proposals would also require micro-blogging providers like Sina to obtain a license from the government to tout their wares online, keep “log information” for 12 months and help the police with technical support should they need to investigate users.

Once again, the Chinese authorities are using the pretext of protecting the public from illegal online activity in order to increase restrictions on the free flow of information. The key, of course, is that the government decides what is ‘illegal’ – most recently those spreading ‘harmful rumours’ have been targeted.

It’s probably wishful thinking to believe that the recent online crackdown is merely a preparatory measure to quell any dissent before the once-in-a-decade Party leadership handover at the end of the year – these measures will be here to stay.

They can also be seen as an ugly but effective way of dealing with the explosion of user-generated content on social media sites, which had threatened to get out of hand but is now predictably being reined in.

China's netizens can feed back on the law until 6 July, for all the good it'll do them. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.