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Chinese Government Wants Real Names Tied to All Internet, Cell Phone Use

And you thought Real ID was bad: According to a Chinese human rights watchdog group, a key Internet regulator in China is pushing for a sweeping, so-called Internet “real name system” which would require that people use their real names for all online discussion and mobile phone use.

The AP presents Human Rights in China’s findings on a speech by Wang Chen, the director of the powerful State Council Information Office:

Wang said holes that needed to be plugged included ways people could post comments or access information anonymously, according to the transcript published this week in the group’s magazine China Rights Forum.

“We will make the Internet real name system a reality as soon as possible, implement a nationwide cell phone real name system, and gradually apply the real name registration system to online interactive processes,” the journal quoted Wang as saying.

As part of that Internet “real name system,” forum moderators would have to use their real names as would users of online bulletin boards, and anonymous comments on news stories would be removed, Wang is quoted as saying.

There’s still a bit of hope: HRIC says that the Chinese government likely expunged the transcript of Wang Chen’s speech initially posted online for fear that there’d be a popular backlash, so they care at least to an extent what people think. But that’s not much solace if such drastic proposals are actually on the table.

(via AP. title image via UCLA.)

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