Saturday04 February 2023

China to control the Internet users even more fiercely

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A few days ago the Chinese government issued new regulations that further restrict the freedom of their Internet users. Users in China will now have to give their real names to ISPs and ISPs are obliged to delete forbidden posts and submit their own reports on such activities. In other words, the term "great Chinese firewall" just got even bigger.

The new rules have been approved by the Chinese National Congress.  It seems they have decided to further tighten and control the flow of information to Chinese users to prevent the "digital revolution" after seeing recent developments in the Middle East. Last year we saw wide spread rioting over the Internet. Foreign observers call this move of the Chinese authorities a big step backward in the field of democracy and the right to the free flow of information. Now it looks like China is very close to Iran, which has limited the use of the Internet to several sites and services that are controlled by the government.

Although more experienced Chinese internet users will not have many problems avoiding the obstacles, communist propaganda has listed penalties for violators of the new regulations. Some of the penalties should make Chinese hackers think twice before they reach out for a proxy or satellite server that is not controlled by the Chinese government.

The new regulations do not exclude the possibility that users in social networks use pseudonyms, but they can do it only when their real names and nicknames are delivered to Internet service providers, who will forward the information to the authorities. This new political move is associated with a growing number of Internet service providers in China, which have guaranteed their customers the rights to privacy and anonymity. This is something that Chinese government simply does not like.

[Ed – it is not just in China or Iraq that we see these things happening. There have been laws proposed in the US which would require ISPs to turn over subscribers’ information and many social networking sites now require that you verify your identity. Privacy and anonymity on the internet is quickly going away as law makers try to argue that there is no reasonable right to privacy and that anonymity of people on the internet is a national security concern. The problem is that in the US many of these “security” laws are actually pushed for by copyright holders as a way to better control their IP and go after file sharers and “pirates”. We honestly wonder how long it will be before laws go into effect in the US requiring the use of identity verification all in the name of security (one legislator even tried claim this was to prevent bullying)…]

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Last modified on Monday, 14 January 2013 18:31

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