China strengthens Internet censorship

Featured - June 8th, 2012
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China will enforce a new law that prohibits users from using false names or remain anonymous in social networks, in a move to control the proliferation of sensitive information.

China, heading towards its once-in-a-decade leadership transition, is increasingly sensitive to public criticism that has recently found its way to online forums, blogs and microblogs.

Just last May, authorities ordered Twitter’s Chinese equivalent, Weibo, to control posts from its 300 million users, following public outcries on sensitive topics such as the political turmoil and the Tiananmen incident.

The new “Methods for Governance of Internet Information Services” tightens the government’s grip on cyberspace. Apart from the “real identity” requirement for users, microblog operators such as MicroSina Corp and Tencent Holdings will require a special administrative license. The draft of the new internet law will be posted on the State Council Information Office website for public comment, Asahi Shimbun reports.