Business / Industries

New Internet ID policy triggers debate

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-04 10:34

BEIJING -- 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 December 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, 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 2010.

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.

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