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China to force internet users to register real names

Peter Foster
London Telegraph [1]
May 5, 2010

China is considering measures to force all its 400m internet users to register their real names before making comments on the country’s myriad chat-rooms and discussion forums, in a further sign of tightening controls on freedom of speech.

The move comes less than a week after China announced a hardening of its State Secrets law [2], requiring internet and mobile phone operators to inform on their customers and co-operate with police demands for information on users.

Plans to make all online users register have been debated for years in China, but senior officials have confirmed that the government is now actively investigating how to implement a system of real-name registration.

“We are also exploring an identity authentication system for users of online bulletin board systems,” said Wang Chen, the vice-head of the ruling Communist Party’s propaganda department in a speech to China’s top legislature reported by the state-run China Daily newspaper.

Full article here [1]

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