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Chinese Government Considering Mandatory Real-Name Registration for Internet Users

By - Source: The Verge | B 24 comments
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The Internet isn't getting any more free in China...

China, already tough on Internet freedom with its astringent censorship, is looking to take a crack at Chinese citizens' Internet anonymity.

The Chinese government may be taking a page from Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, which has already forced real-name registration on its users.

According to the government-owned press agency Xinhua, the National People's Congress (NPC), China's unicameral legislature, is currently drafting a law that will force Chinese citizens to register their real names with Internet service providers.

The policy will not violate users' privacy, but actually protect it, claims Li Fei, deputy director of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC. "Such identity management could be conducted backstage, allowing users to use different names when publicizing information," states Li.

The NPC has set up the draft under the guise of protecting Chinese citizens from online fraud. However, the real concern here is for political activists or individuals who would benefit from such online anonymity. After all, the so-called anonymity that the Chinese government claims individuals would continue to enjoy holds little weight when it has access to information about every individual's online activities through ISPs.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , December 31, 2012 10:26 PM
    That is just plain baloney. If the law really becomes in effect, it will enhance corruption between Chinese government officials and fraudsters, while punishing whistle blowers and law abiding Chinese citizens.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    mouse24 , December 31, 2012 9:25 PM
    Jeez, I would hate to have to grow up in china.
  • 15 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , December 31, 2012 10:26 PM
    That is just plain baloney. If the law really becomes in effect, it will enhance corruption between Chinese government officials and fraudsters, while punishing whistle blowers and law abiding Chinese citizens.
  • Display all 24 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    tomfreak , December 31, 2012 11:00 PM
    shouldnt be a problem if they can 101% guaranty that the name/privacy isnt gonna get leak out for life time. which is nearly impossible lolz
  • 4 Hide
    kinggremlin , December 31, 2012 11:32 PM
    How are the Chinese getting internet access now without their ISP knowing their real name? I know Time Warner Cable has my real name. That's how I pay my bill. If I told them my name was Santa Claus or HughGRection69 I don't think I would be able to get an account with them. So what exactly is the issue here?
  • 7 Hide
    shotgunz , December 31, 2012 11:36 PM
    They will just end up with... Chan, Chan1, Chan2, Chan3... Chan232763323

    Lee, Lee1, Lee2, Lee3,.... Lee82873723
  • 9 Hide
    xkm1948 , January 1, 2013 12:50 AM
    kinggremlinHow are the Chinese getting internet access now without their ISP knowing their real name? I know Time Warner Cable has my real name. That's how I pay my bill. If I told them my name was Santa Claus or HughGRection69 I don't think I would be able to get an account with them. So what exactly is the issue here?


    Well, it is not like that. Chinese government simply want its citizens to use REAL NAME on all online forums/social websites/news comments sections. Why? Because the communists government is under heavy pressure recently when people exposing how their "western hating communist officials" are actually sending all their relatives and money abroad. They wanna hide their ugly secret, and the best way is to use real name checking. This way they can track down everyone single one who opposes the authority, even if it is just some random ranting on news comments section.

    You can rant on and on about how Obama is a disaster to the US without worrying about FBI knocking on your front door. You don't have to worry about being "vaporized" for just some negative comments.
    With this new law passed and the system deployed. If one post anything negative about the communist leaders, the Chinese Special Agents will locate and jail him/her without any form of hearing.

  • 4 Hide
    ronch79 , January 1, 2013 1:33 AM
    It's easy to take potshots at China for being a communist country, unfortunately, 'democratic' nations' policies aren't really far from this sort of thing.
  • 3 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , January 1, 2013 1:39 AM
    kinggremlinHow are the Chinese getting internet access now without their ISP knowing their real name? I know Time Warner Cable has my real name. That's how I pay my bill. If I told them my name was Santa Claus or HughGRection69 I don't think I would be able to get an account with them. So what exactly is the issue here?

    the US government, CIA & FIB already know your real name and watch your back :p 
    u don't even have to register, they can get into your back door anytime, anywhere
  • 3 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , January 1, 2013 1:45 AM
    ronch79It's easy to take potshots at China for being a communist country, unfortunately, 'democratic' nations' policies aren't really far from this sort of thing.

    for communist country, this kind of policy are on the water,
    for "democratic nations", this kind of policy are under water......
  • 8 Hide
    xkm1948 , January 1, 2013 2:27 AM
    Try living in China for a few years and you will find your current life much more enjoyable.
  • 3 Hide
    unksol , January 1, 2013 3:56 AM
    Sweet. When a twit hops on your unsecured wifi to tweet you get dragged to political jail.... China is such a messed up place... But then so are we. Shocking they don't revolt though
  • 1 Hide
    halcyon , January 1, 2013 6:38 AM
    I feel sorry for the Chinese masses. Their government is truly messed up...truly.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , January 1, 2013 8:12 AM
    the government knows my name when I register a driver license, the credit-cards , my 3G cellphone(including the contact list in my bill.) and my home online service. the public camera caught me in the scenes after I purchase my laptop in bestbuy. but I never feel my privacy life is been watching by the government. I m nobody as long as if I dont get crazy drive my car around as a rampage killer or I upload/download illegal privacy copyright stuff online. the last I believe facebook makes me famous that I need to get my name and ip hidden is wrong. you will still get caught even if your ISP is not bonding with your real name if you doing something stupid.
  • 2 Hide
    JackFrost860 , January 1, 2013 10:49 AM
    real names = no trolls ?
  • 2 Hide
    JackFrost860 , January 1, 2013 10:53 AM
    halcyonI feel sorry for the Chinese masses. Their government is truly messed up...truly.


    ... as America drops off fiscal cliff! ;) 
  • -2 Hide
    halcyon , January 1, 2013 12:00 PM
    ^ Yeah, but I've got a parachute. :p 
  • 3 Hide
    Pherule , January 1, 2013 12:58 PM
    No China, no. Bad China!
  • -1 Hide
    Andy Chow , January 1, 2013 12:58 PM
    China is so evil passing such a law!!! USA has already has this law in place for several years. Dohhh!

    In free America, making a youtube video supporting an alternate political candidate (Ron Paul), which actually wants more freedom and less government, might make you get a visit from the FBI. Filming a police officer's improper conduct might get you arrested. How is that different than China?

    I feel sorry for the american masses. They live in a police state but don't know it.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , January 1, 2013 1:04 PM
    Andy ChowChina is so evil passing such a law!!! USA has already has this law in place for several years. Dohhh!In free America, making a youtube video supporting an alternate political candidate (Ron Paul), which actually wants more freedom and less government, might make you get a visit from the FBI. Filming a police officer's improper conduct might get you arrested. How is that different than China?I feel sorry for the american masses. They live in a police state but don't know it.
    We know it, we're just in a state of denial.
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