The chairman of the Internet Society of China said yesterday that China is exploring and progressively trying out a system of “limited real-name registration” for the Internet capable of “balancing personal privacy, the public good and the national interests”, Chinanews.com reported. But it was not clear from Chinese media reports how this newly announced approach to the proposed real-name registration system differs, if at all, from previous proposals.
During yesterday’s “2006 Convention on Promoting Information Technology in China” (二00六中国信息化推进大会), held in Beijing, Hu Qiheng (胡启恒) said: “In the past the recognition of personal privacy has tended toward absolutism. But now not only China but the whole world recognizes that there needs to be a balance between personal privacy and national interests, and we should not make personal privacy absolute”. Hu Qiheng did not specify the particular shifts in global views on privacy to which he was referring.
Addressing the recent wave of public opinion against the proposed blog registration system, Hu Qiheng said China’s “limited” registration system would involve only “backstage” registration (后台实名) – that is to say, users would be required to provide their ID cards and the “necessary documents including their real name” when registering accounts on blog or bulletin board sites (BBS). But when they were “onstage” (前台) users would be free to use whatever aliases they wished. This is unlikely to appease opponents of the real-name registration, many of whom have pointed out that the vitality of China’s Internet and protection of privacy require that users feel their participation is free from government intrusion.
The Real-Name Blogger Registration System (ESWN)
[Posted by David Bandurski, November 29, 2006, 11:20am]