The top legislature on Monday began deliberating a draft decision that will strengthen the protection of personal information online by requiring Internet users to identify themselves to service providers.
It’s for your own good, people:
The move is intended to better protect Internet users’ privacy and provide a legal basis for safeguarding online information safety to ensure the healthy and orderly development of the Internet, according to a spokesman for the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC).
No government can protect you if you’re anonymous:
Li Yuxiao, an expert on Internet management and law studies at the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications, said it would be “empty talk” to discuss protection rights for individuals under the condition of complete anonymity.
Real-name anonymity is the future of the Internet:
The identity management policy enables people to “protect their lawful rights by providing real names while building an environment of free exchange under anonymity,” Li said.
Global Voices has gathered some very smart responses from online users in China. People are wondering out loud whether the new measure is merely to control freedom of speech, while acknowledging it’s currently not difficult for officials to track down real identities anyway. Writes @游离的世界已经灰白：”The Internet is a sword hanging over the head of officials! Legislation is necessary, but the key is how to deal with both the protection of officials and the protection of citizens’ freedom of speech. Which comes the first?”