updated 07:11 pm EST, Tue December 25, 2012
China policy aimed at curbing rumors, vulgarity
The Chinese Communist Party could begin requiring Chinese citizens to register their real names in order to sign up with Internet service providers. This according to a recent statement from the Party, which says that the new requirement would be aimed at cutting down on the incidence of "rumors and vulgarity." Currently, China requires that Internet service customers present providers with identity papers when signing up for service, but the new law under discussion would presumably solidify that requirement, even though how exactly it would differ from the current policy is not quite clear.
According to Reuters, the Chinese government began requiring users of Sina Corp's Weibo microblogging service to register their real names. Critics of the government claim that the policy will serve only to stifle dissent on the one platform in the country that is relatively open. Requiring the use of real names would, critics contend, make users less likely to criticize the ruling powers.
Government officials counter that the policy is necessary in order to stop people from making anonymous accusations online.
Chinese policies regarding the Internet have long trended toward censorship and control. The Communist Party already blocks popular foreign sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Earlier this year, the government was also said to be pondering its own processor architecture standard, a move that could serve to increase the ability of China's ruling party to monitor and control developments in information technology.