Feeds

China to extend real name registration rules

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?