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AFP
August 27, 2017

China demands internet platforms to verify users’ true identity

World

AFP
August 27, 2017

BEIJING: China has ordered the country’s internet platforms to verify users’ true identity before letting them post online content, the latest step by authorities to tighten policing of the web.

All social networking sites and discussion forums must "check the real identity" of their users before they can post online content and comments, under new regulations published on Friday by the Cyberspace Administration of China.

The platforms will also have to strengthen their oversight over all published information, deleting all illegal content while also alerting authorities to the postings.

The new guidelines take effect October 1.

China already had laws requiring companies to verify a user’s identity but it was applied in a fragmented and incomplete way.

But forcing online posters to identify themselves -- which will probably require scanning a government-issued ID as proof of identity -- makes it much more difficult to post online anonymously.

China already tightly controls the internet aggressively blocking sites of which it disapproves and curbing politically sensitive online commentary, such as on criticism of the government.

The new regulation was adopted as part of a cybersecurity law that took effect in June, which bans internet users from publishing a wide variety of information.

That covers anything that damages "national honour", "disturbs economic or social order" or is aimed at "overthrowing the socialist system".

The law also requires online platforms to get a licence to post news reports or commentary about the government, economy, military, foreign affairs, and social issues.

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