China looks to boost Internet limits on microblogs

Jun 07, 2012 by ELAINE KURTENBACH

(AP) — China plans to stiffen restrictions on Internet service providers as it seeks even greater control over the opinions voiced on the country's lively microblogs and other web forums.

A list of proposed changes to Beijing's Internet law released by the Cabinet on Thursday includes blogs, Twitter-like microblogs and online forums.

In December, China began requiring real name registration for nearly all microblog services on a city by city basis, though compliance has been patchy.

The latest regulations appear to be aimed at beefing up enforcement by requiring companies to cooperate with police and threatening criminal punishment and loss of business licenses for failure to comply.

The National Internet Information Office said in a statement Thursday that the requirement for microblogs helped curb illegal web activity and promote online trust and should be expanded to cover blogs and online discussion forums.

Companies providing such services must be licensed and must guarantee that those using them be registered with their real identities, say the guidelines.

The rules require Internet companies to keep logs for 12 months and to provide technical assistance to the police and national security agencies.

has more than 500 million Internet users, the most of any country in the world. Internet sites that are deemed politically destabilizing or pornographic are routinely blocked, and the government blocked Twitter and Facebook after they were instrumental in anti-government protests in Iran two years ago.

It has instead encouraged homegrown alternatives in the apparent belief that domestic companies would be more responsive to government demands, but microblogs have been widely used to share information not available in the state media.

Authorities have been pressuring Internet companies to control them or risk losing the right to operate in a fast-growing market.

Late last month, the microblogging site Sina Weibo, which has more than 300 million registered users, introduced new rules that could see users banned for posting about sensitive political topics. In late March it banned commenting for three days amid a high-level political crisis.

Explore further: US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China tells police to use social media

Sep 27, 2011

China has ordered police nationwide to make more use of social networking sites to ensure greater openness and "dispel misunderstandings", the state Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

China extends microblog rules to south: report

Dec 22, 2011

China is extending rules requiring microblog users to register under their real names to Guangdong, state media said Thursday, after a spate of violent protests in the southern province.

China's Sina says microblog controls damaging

Feb 28, 2012

Chinese web giant Sina warned Tuesday that government requirements for microbloggers to register their real names before posting messages will hurt activity on its popular social networking site.

China microblog users top 300 million: reports

Nov 22, 2011

More than 300 million people in China now have microblogging accounts, a state-run newspaper reported, as the country's fast-growing online population seeks to bypass tight media controls.

Beijing issues ultimatum for microblog users

Feb 08, 2012

Microblog users in Beijing who do not register using their real names by mid-March will be banned from posting comments, a local official said on Wednesday, as authorities tighten their grip on the web.

China to further tighten control of microblogs

Jan 19, 2012

A senior Chinese propaganda official has said real-name registration for the nation's hugely popular microblogs will be expanded, as authorities tighten their grip on the web amid fear of unrest.

Recommended for you

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

11 hours ago

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

Aug 22, 2014

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

Aug 21, 2014

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

User comments : 0