China’s internet ‘real name registration’ system

China has constricted access to internet by re-introducing a previous requirement that the users needed to identify themselves completely before utilising the web. This new step is reported to be a part of the efforts by the country to protect personal information of the users, though critics believe the restrictions are a way to limit the freedom of speech.

Many believe that the tightened rules are a result of the recent number of online protests and the exposure of corrupt Communist Party officials by people, who posted criticisms on the web leading to the above situations. Chinese authorities have been closely monitoring the content, which crosses their boundaries and blocking the sensitive content.

Reporting about the new regulations, Xinhua News Agency said, “This measure will ensure Internet information security, safeguard the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal entities or other organisations and safeguard national security and social public interests.”

The new rules from the authorities will require the people to provide ‘genuine identification information’ known as real-name registration. Real-name registration was reported to be implemented in 2011, but was not widely enforced. Many internet firms have warned that the new rules would severely reduce traffic.

The authorities have encouraged the exposure of corruption, but state that the new generation of online users pose a threat to the leadership of the country. The decision to implement the new regulations were taken by China’s top brass in a five-day meeting.

The new rules also require the network providers to stop the transmission of illegal information once it is identified. The regulations come a month after the inception of Xi Jinping as the leader of the ruling Communist Party.

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