On Friday, China passed a new law compelling internet users to reveal their real names and other particulars. The law is equally applicable to broadband and mobile internet users. The law also shifts the onus of controlling what people post on to the shoulders of internet providers. In effect, the law empowers internet providers to delete posts that contain information or content deemed “illegal” or undesirable by the government.
The law, regardless of other implications can make providing internet in China infeasible for private companies. If private internet providers are held criminally responsible for user posted content on some website or forum, then the costs of monitoring would obviously become prohibitive.
For a long time, the Communist party bigwigs in China had been upset over the freedom offered by the internet, and the ease with which people had started criticizing the Communist party. This law provides for censorship the way they want it in China.
The Xinhua News Agency reported, Service providers are required to instantly stop the transmission of illegal information once it is spotted and take relevant measures, including removing the information and saving records, before reporting to supervisory authorities, the decision says.
The Xinhua also said the law empowers supervising departments to take technical and other necessary measures to prevent, stop or punish those who infringe on online privacy, requiring relevant service providers to give support during investigations.
Li Fei, a member of the National People’s Congress standing committee said that “Some people are worried that the law would affect people making criticism and suggestions or uncovering corrupt behavior through the Web … I think it is not necessary. Citizens have the right to criticize, suggest and appeal to relevant department according to the law.” Fei also added, “citizens … can’t violate others’ rights or the nation’s rights as a whole.”