China adopts tighter rules for internet usage

Registering real names

The Chinese legislature has passed a law which requires real name registration for internet usage.

As part of a package of new measures, individuals will be required to give genuine identification information when they sign an agreement with a network service provider to gain access to the internet, fixed-line telephones and mobile devices.

State-run news agency Xinhua has reported that this new law is intended to improve the security of personal information. On the subject, Xinhua has said: "China's top legislature approved Friday rules to enhance the protection of personal information online and safeguard public interest, requiring Internet users to identify themselves to service providers when signing web access agreements."

Tightening internet usage rules

When the regulation comes into play, network operators will be required to safeguard the privacy of the account information that they possess. In a further attempt to tighten the internet usage rules, service providers will also be able to delete posts that are deemed to contain illegal information.

While the Chinese legislature has approved the new law, it has not been confirmed when it will be put into practice. Official news agency Xinhua has said that the draft is set to undergo "further deliberation and revisions" prior to its implementation.

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: "Real name registration with service providers is the latest step to tighten internet usage rules in China. Following the introduction of real-name regulations of micro-blogging sites, the new law will require all internet users to provide genuine identification."