In their latest attempt to crack down on freedom of use the Chinese authorities have announced they plan to restrict Internet access to a degree that has never been seen before.
New legislation will be introduced effectively destroying Internet anonymity by forcing all subscribers to provide validated personal details identifying themselves accurately to ISPs.
China’s Xinhua News, which reports on this story here, somewhat surreally suggests that “China’s latest legislation on Internet management complies with the development trend of the Internet and the aspirations of the people” however commentators that are more cynical of the move suggest that this is to clamp down on Internet freedoms following embarrassing revelations regarding corrupt Communist Party leaders and mass online protests such as the ‘Shifang’ and ‘Qidong’ protests which forced officials to abandon environmentally suspect schemes.
Xinghua News further suggests that the move “boosts Internet management while ensuring the people’s rights to privacy and free speech” although the logic of how collecting private data protects privacy, and those that wish to speak out against corruption, is to say the least unfathomable.
The BBC discusses other aspects of this story further here.