Civil Liberties

China Further Restricts Internet Use

Seeks to outlaw anonymity


The Chinese government is once again imposing new restrictions on Internet use.

A decision approved today by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress institutes an "identity management policy," according to China's official Xinhua news agency. Such a policy requires Internet users to use their real names when registering with an online provider or mobile carrier.

Though most Chinese Internet users already use their real names to sign up for online accounts, the new policy makes it the law.

Li Fei, deputy director of the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the Standing Committee, did acknowledge public concerns that the measure could "hamper the exposure of corruption cases online, public criticism lodged on the Internet, and the supervisory role of the Internet," Xinhua said.