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China considers "real name system" for blogs

     
9:54 am on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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China moves towards "real name system" for blogs [today.reuters.co.uk]
The Internet Society of China has recommended to the government that bloggers be required to use their real names when they register blogs, state media said on Monday, in the latest attempt to regulate free-wheeling Web content.

The society, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Information Industry, said no decision had been made but that a 'real name system' was inevitable.


I have heard rumors of this in the past not only for blogs but forums, BBS systems, and Wikis. I wonder how they would implement it? That seems like quite a chore unless there's a central real-name database to work from.
10:51 am on Oct 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They'd probably implement it by making it law.

It would only be tested if a blog required 'investigation' due to undesirable content. It would then be a much more serious crime, if the blog was both undesirable and 'mislabelled'. Tracing the owner, of course, would be a doddle.

It might be possible to have a registration system, whereby the registration name has to be the same as the display name, which would mean outlawing every 'unofficial' blog.

Either way, you can bet that human rights don't come very close :)

2:20 am on Oct 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I do not believe that our government is competent for this complicated work.
2:41 am on Oct 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure if the proposal here affects the registered name or the displayed name. Many blogs will allow you to sign up by giving a full name and address but will only publically publish a nick-name for you.
4:10 am on Oct 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I believe they are trying to remove the anonymity component from blogs. If their blog can be traced back to them, this would make people more wary of what they publish on the web. As all websites in China require registration [webmasterworld.com] this would make policing the Chinese blogosphere a bit easier.
3:39 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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OK, they can make this into law, but , what about people who purchased domain and hosting overseas?
8:44 am on Oct 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't see how this could be enforced outside China. I assume it will only apply to people being hosted inside the country.