China seeks to reduce Internet users` anonymity

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 22:20

Beijing: A leading Chinese Internet regulator
has vowed to reduce anonymity in China`s portion of
cyberspace, calling for new rules to require people to use
their real names when buying a mobile phone or going online,
according to a human rights group.

In an address to the national legislature in April, Wang
Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, called
for perfecting the extensive system of censorship the
government uses to manage the fast-evolving Internet,
according to a text of the speech obtained by New York-based
Human Rights in China.

China`s regime has a complicated relationship with the
freewheeling Internet, reflected in its recent standoff with
Google over censorship of search results. China this week
confirmed it had renewed Google`s license to operate, after it
agreed to stop automatically rerouting users to its Hong Kong
site, which is not subject to China`s online censorship.

The Internet is China`s most open and lively forum for
discussion, despite already pervasive censorship, but stricter
controls could constrain users. The country`s online
population has surged past 400 million, making it the world`s
largest.

Chen`s comments were reported only briefly when they were
made in April. Human Rights in China said the government
quickly removed a full transcript posted on the legislature`s
website. But the group said it found an unexpurgated text and
the discrepancies show that Beijing is wary that its push for
tighter information control might prove unpopular.

Wang said holes that needed to be plugged included ways
people could post comments or access information anonymously,
according to the transcript published this week in the group`s
magazine China Rights Forum.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 22:20

comments powered by Disqus