China is not best known for being a proponent of internet freedom. The country has long censored the web and carefully controlled its citizens’ activities online. And now, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has come up with a new set of draconian policies meant to censor and monitor internet more closely.
In recent past, the online activities of Chinese users have been critical in bringing many issues to fore. These include issues ranging from sex scandals to corruptions and more. Interestingly, most of the culprits in these cases were Chinese governmental officials.
It is, thus, only natural for the Chinese government to feel insecure towards internet freedom. The new set of regulations now requires Chinese internet users to provide their real names to the service providers. They are still allowed to use pseudonyms but their service providers will know their real identity.
In other words, government wants the users to give up the garb of anonymity, something which has long allowed Chinese users to rightfully criticize the government without fearing repercussions. The new ‘reforms’ proposed by the Committee are meant to directly stifle freedom of speech online.
The Committee further declared that in order to protect their sensitive data, businesses must be more vigilant about their online activities. Moreover, it also cited concern, if only in secondary value, about the fact that many businesses collect and sell personal information of their users and the use of con operations launched by fraudulent individuals online.
Whereas the latter concerns of the Committee are quite valid and are an appreciable undertaking, the act of literally banning online anonymity is rather shameful.