Web China: China's new Internet ID policy triggers online discussion
BEIJING, Jan 03, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
A policy that requires users to use
their real names when registering for Internet access has
triggered heated discussion, with some for and some against it.
On Dec. 28, China's top legislature passed rules on protecting
online information, with a provision requiring Internet users to
use their real names to identify themselves to service providers,
including Internet or telecommunications operators.
While some netizens say because of this policy, they will be
cautious in airing views, others say such worry is unnecessary.
"Zhang Lifan," a netizens on popular Internet portal Sina.com,
wrote that the regulation will affect online communication and
reduce netizens' desire to participate in political discussions.
Yin Yungong, director of the Institute of Journalism and
Communication at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the
policy will help to dispel malicious rumors at their source.
"The policy will ensure online information spreads in an
orderly and safe way," said Yin.
He said that netizens will get used to it gradually.
Actually, many Chinese service providers have already set
real-name registration requirements. China Telecom, China Mobile
and China Unicom, China's three biggest telecom companies, have
required individuals and enterprises to provide their real names
when subscribing to data transmission services since September
Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site that has been used by
netizens to blow the whistle on corrupt officials, has required
users to register with their real names since earlier this year.
Huzhichenfeibeijixing, a Sina Weibo user, said whistleblowers
using their real names will give their claims more weight.
While netizens have various opinions on the impact of the
policy, they are unanimous in calling for strict protection of
online ID information.
"I doubt the government's ability to ensure the security of our
information," wrote a Sina Weibo user with the screenname
"yingluobiezhi," adding that he fears his personal information
could end up being disclosed.
A survey published by the China Center for Information Industry
Development in May 2012 showed that more than 60 percent of
respondents said they had suffered personal information theft.
Internet users who have accounts on popular commercial or
social networking sites are at the greatest risk of having their
information stolen, according to Feng Qiang, an employee of a
commercial website, adding that netizens' personal information is
managed by the websites' operators.
Operators should protect their users' privacy and public
security departments should play a supervisory role, Feng said.
A commentary posted on people.com.cn Wednesday said some
netizens have misread the intentions of the new rules, which aim
to strengthen protection of citizens' online information and
contain many provisions in this respect.
It said real-name registration has been the order of the day,
as most of China's 513 million netizens have done online shopping.
As some netizens fear the so-called compulsory real-name
registration, they are probably unaware that they have already
registered their real identities online.
"Therefore, it's necessary to make rules to protect netizens'
online information," said the comment, urging netizens not to
misinterpret the intention of the legislators and blindly echo
ungrounded criticisms of the rules.
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