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December 25, 2012

China may call for real name registration for accessing internet

The new law could require users to present their government-issued identity cards when signing contracts for fixed line and mobile internet access

By CBR Staff Writer

China is expected to extend the real name policy, already operational with microblogs, to internet access that mandates all the internet users to register with their real names when signing up to network providers.

The new law could require users to present their government-issued identity cards when signing contracts for fixed line and mobile internet access.

Reuters reported citing the People’s Daily as saying: "The law should escort the development of the internet to protect people’s interest."

"Only that way can our internet be healthier, more cultured and safer," the news paper added.

The limitations are aimed at curbing online chatting in a country where the Internet provides a rare opportunity for open debates, as well prevents people from revealing corruption online if they fear revenge from officials.

During early 2012, the Chinese government made it mandatory for users of Sina’s Weibo microblogging platform to register their real names in a bid to prevent people from making online malicious and anonymous accusations.

Chinese internet users have long had to deal with widespread censorship, in particular over politically sensitive topics including human rights, and foreign sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have been blocked.

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