China Requires Netizens to Provide Their Real Names

December 30th, 2012 at 6:07 am

China has passed a new law this weekend that would require its citizens to reveal their real names when signing up for Internet and phone services, a move that further controls the world’s largest population of web users.

The country censors the Internet by restricting its 550 million netizens access to websites containing pornography, gambling, and content that is critical to the Communist Party. The new law, meanwhile, would give the party a more vast control over mobile phone users, especially those who use microblogs like Sina Weibo. The government has been wary of these weibos and websites that have become platforms for citizens to post dissent, rumors, and claims of corruption, subjects that China’s print media are not allowed to publish.

The Communist Party’s image has been stained after online activists revealed officials with extramarital affairs and expensive properties, as well as those who have covered up allegations of wrongdoing by their family members.

Apart from giving real names when signing up for Internet, fixed-phone-line or mobile-phone services, these providers must also require their users’ names to be posted publicly.

Source: Bloomberg


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