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China to monitor Internet and phones in Tibet

The move comes as Chinese media and the government have expressed resentment at charges of mass surveillance by the US.

By CBR Staff Writer

China has implemented a scheme in Tibet that requires all telephone and Internet users in the autonomous region to furnish real names to IT service providers.

The scheme is said to have been rolled out to monitor Internet and phones though the officials claim that it is being done to crack down on rumours.

Chinese government official Nyima Doje was quoted by Xinhua as saying that the real-name registration is conducive to protecting citizens’ personal information and curbing the spread of detrimental information.

The move comes as Chinese media and the government expressed resentment at charges of mass surveillance by the US.

By late 2012, all 2.76 million fixed line and mobile telephone users and 1.47 million internet users in the remote region had registered for services by furnishing their original identities.

According to Chinese government officials the scheme will be beneficial in protecting citizens’ personal information and limiting the spread of harmful information.

Xinhua cited Chinese government official Dai Jianguo as saying that the rising reputation of the Internet and mobile phones has generated social problems, such as the uncontrolled spreading of online rumours, pornography and spam messages.

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"The real-name registration will help resolve these problems while benefiting the long-term, sound development of the internet," Dai said.

In 2012, the central Chinese government approved a law requiring the use of real names to register for Internet services and also started forcing users of Sina’s Weibo microblogging platform to register their real names.

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