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New Chinese Rule Requires Real Names Online

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the anonymous-howard dept.

Censorship 193

crimeandpunishment writes "According to a human rights group, a leading Chinese Internet regulator is calling for new rules requiring people to use their real names online and when buying mobile phones. New York-based 'Human Rights in China' says it has obtained the complete text of a speech Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office, made in April, and they quote him as saying 'We will make the Internet real name system a reality as soon as possible.'"

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On par with USA... (1, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907634)

You can't buy a cell phone in the USA without either giving your identity, or giving the police permission to tap the line to wait for you to ID yourself.

Post-paid plans already require a credit check that takes your SSN and associates it with the account. If the account changes hands, a new credit check is done on the new identity... no way to hide who you are in this environment.

You could argue that a pre-paid plan can be paid for with untraceable cash... but if large amounts of prepaid phone minutes are bought with cash and they can't figure out why, the price for the service will go up. Top up with just one identifiable payment and it's tied to the phone forever.

The anonymous phone call has gone the way of the pay phone... gone!

Re:On par with USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907748)

Why is this downvoted? It's true.

Re:On par with USA... (1, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907784)

No it's not. Pre-paid cellphones are incredibly easy to get... Also pay phone still exist.

Re:On par with USA... (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908120)

That doesn't make it a troll. Comparing evil communist china with current US practices I think is an exceptionally valid and frightening thing to do.

Re:On par with USA... (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908820)

I agree. I just took an elderly neighbor to get a Trac Phone at Kmart and no ID or info was required. He buys minutes on cards at the local dollar store. I don't know if he uses a credit (or ATM) card for that but I know he doesn't HAVE to, he can pay cash. Also, there is nothing forcing him to immediately add the minutes to the phone. Oh, he also has more than one Trac Phone, so he could add the minutes to either one of them... he used to live in another state and since he needs to change his number now, he figured he'd get a new phone at the same time.

Now, as to whether his image is stored on a hard drive at the point of purchase, I can't say... Be on the lookout for an old, short, white guy in a ball cap, can't be too many of those in a retirement state.

Re:On par with USA... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907760)

>>>giving the police permission to tap the line to wait for you to ID yourself.

More information please. I've never heard of this.

Re:On par with USA... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908100)

Hmmmm? Large amounts of prepaid phone minutes are bought with cash all the time. You can walk into a 7-11 and walk out with a prepaid cellphone along with a Gargantuan Grotesteque Gulp and some libbed lubbers.

It's being done in the US too (5, Insightful)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907640)

new rules requiring people to use their real names -- when buying mobile phones

Just like Chinese, this is required by Apple too. They say it's so that you cannot buy multiple phones, but you still are required to give them your real name when you want to buy a phone. You are only allowed to buy a device with a credit card and they will record your name and phone IMEI.

The trend in the US seems to be going strongly towards using real names too. Theres Facebook and there just was that Blizzard Forum incident. So it's not really nothing new, but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US.

Re:It's being done in the US too (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907656)

And it's not just phones there too... a WiFi-only iPad falls under the same policy.

Re:It's being done in the US too (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907658)

but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US.

Regardless, two wrongs still don't make a right.

Re:It's being done in the US too (-1, Troll)

kpainter (901021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907790)

Regardless, two wrongs still don't make a right.

Do two Wongs make a right?

Re:It's being done in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908426)

No, they make a wheel wight!

Re:It's being done in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908562)

Nah it makes a sausage fest.

Re:It's being done in the US too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907812)

Regardless, two wrongs still don't make a right.

Oldie:

Two Wongs don't make a white.

It's bad enough that we're trying to beat Canada, England, New Zealand and Australia in copyright enforcement, but now we're trying to beat the slopes in destroying anonymity.

We've already used three of the four boxes.

Re:It's being done in the US too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907952)

but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US.

Regardless, two wrongs still don't make a right.

And two Wongs don't make a Wright.

Sorry.

Re:It's being done in the US too (4, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908158)

"but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US."

But its not being implemented at the behest of the US Government. Apparently, its not in China either, yet, but; the comments by this Wang Chen of the State Council Information Office would appear to indicate that it will be, very soon. I do not have to (and I do not) use Apple products or Facebook, and I have access to all the digital services I need. The policies of those services are not governmental policies. Big difference that you seem to be ignoring.

Re:It's being done in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908208)

but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US.

Regardless, two wrongs still don't make a right.

Two wrongs don't make a right
but three lefts do.

Re:It's being done in the US too (2, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908680)

The real wrong is our failure to resist these encroachments. It might not be expected of the Chinese, but the Americans... WTF! It's been almost 40 years since people have made any real attempt to alter government/corporate policy. Now they only complain if their favorite TV show is canceled.

Re:It's being done in the US too (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907690)

So it's not really nothing new, but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US.

No... Don't you see?

The Chinese infiltrated the economic structure of the United States long ago, forcing people to use their real names for services. Only now that it has been widely adopted as "okay", can China show its true colours.

We've all had the hoods pulled over our eyes, China controls America!

Re:It's being done in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907728)

Not the whole US. Just those Apple commies.

Re:It's being done in the US too (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907774)

So it's not really nothing new, but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US.

Yes, that "requiring real names on WoW forums" really sank like a trace, didn't it? I barely heard about it. You can tell how nobody cares when that happens in the US, because, like, there would have been a big stink about it or something.

No, wait...

Re:It's being done in the US too (2, Insightful)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907900)

No, it's not the same thing as what's being done in the US.

You might have to use your name to buy a cell phone here, but you don't have to use your name online. Individual websites requiring the use of real names is a totally different thing then the gov't requiring it. Imagine how people would react if the U.S. gov't said everyone must use their real names online!

As well, using my real name is not dangerous here, whereas in China you have a reason to not use your real name. I think it is pretty obvious that the government is proposing this to better control people and what they write online.

I think it would be a great thing if the citizens of China could enjoy freedom of expression and freedom from censorship online. Unfortunately, this appears quite unlikely.

Re:It's being done in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908212)

As well, using my real name is not dangerous here

yet.

Re:It's being done in the US too (0, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908590)

"using my real name is not dangerous here,"

How sure are you of that? I'm not even going to argue that you have to fear the GOVERNMENT. There are plenty of other people that you should fear. I think that it's Dateline that ran all those child predator expose's - if you're young and female, and the predator can get your name and location, they'll come flocking to your door. Hell, if you're young and MALE, a different predator will come to your door, too. Then, there are the predators who prefer the more mature females.

Alright, let's forget about sex predators. How about more "normal" thieves, muggers, and robbers. Only months ago, someone was selling something online, and agreed to meet the buyers AT THEIR HOME. The buyer shows up with a gun and a freind, and they walk away with the goodies.

Politics. I argue politics online all the time. Some of those crazy SOB's would be happy to ambush me when I leave the house in the morning, because I hate their favorite, or they hate my favorite, or whatever. Step into ANY political forum, and say anything good about Obama, and the crazies will come out of the woodwork with "He isn't a citizne" "He's a Moslem" "Obama hates whites" "Obama hates America", etc ad nauseum

Still on politics, world level. I've badmouthed a LOT of people like Osama bin Laden. Some of the people I've argued with actually claim to have fought against westerners and against whites, and to have fought against American interests. I have little idea if any individual claim is true or not - but out of all of them, one or more may very well have the resources and/or the contacts to send a squad to my house. IF, that is, I were foolish enough to tell them who I am, and where I live.

Is it dangerous to identify yourself online? Maybe not - if you're a homely old dude with nothing to lose, and no political convictions. But, you MIGHT come to the attention of some kid who needs to impress his gang, so he decides to come to your house and kill you.

Go ahead, put YOUR full name and all your details online. I'll pass. Oh - don't forget. The clown(s) who show up to take you out will probably see your wife and kids, and use them for amusement after they knock you off. But, hey, that's the risk your family takes for associating with you, right?

Re:It's being done in the US too (2, Insightful)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908774)

You seem to be under the impression that not putting your name online will prevent anyone from finding it.

Re:It's being done in the US too (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908838)

"You seem to be under the impression"

Key word there is "seem". I'm perfectly aware that my IP is logged everywhere I go - unless I use some sort of a proxy. However, with a law that all of my posts, everything I do online, has to be identified with a unique identifier, proxies and other anonymizing tools will obviously be illegal. Using TOR, I2P, or other similar software will make me a criminal.

Of course, I'm already a criminal, because I use P2P, LMAO

Re:It's being done in the US too (1)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907964)

+1 Informative

Re:It's being done in the US too (1, Flamebait)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908108)

Just like Chinese, this is required by Apple too.

All the more reason to buy an Android device rather than an iPhone.

Re:It's being done in the US too (1)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908790)

What carrier are you going to put that on that doesn't require an ID or SSN?

Re:It's being done in the US too (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908484)

They say it's so that you cannot buy multiple phones

I remember that whopper. It's got to be up there with the most transparent lies ever told by a major corporation.

"You can't buy an iPhone with cash because we're worried that we'll sell too many of them".

Re:It's being done in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908496)

So it's not really nothing new, but it is just an another "china and communism is bad"-story when pretty much the same is done in the US.

Are you American or Chinese? And is your real name SquarePixel?

Re:It's being done in the US too (1)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908578)

I think the difference is that with Facebook (which you actually can have a fake name on, BTW - one of my friends recently changed his last name to "Asscakes"), Apple phones and (what almost happened to) the Blizzard Forum, users are choosing to give out their names when there are plenty of alternatives to all three. With this new thing in China, you're only choices are to give your name to a government that has a reputation of punishing political dissidents or stop using the internet.

Re:It's being done in the US too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908624)

Actually there was a huge outcry over the Blizzard Forum incident. So much so that they changed their policy, restoring anonymity. I don't use facebook or Iphone, but you can be sure that if I did I would quit them over something like you mention. I think it's not, as you claim, a case of, "pretty much the same is done in the US." Especially when you consider those are a very few private companies. As a nation I think we value anonymity quite a bit.

Does this really do a lot of good? (1, Flamebait)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907684)

Any guess on how many people share the name "Wang Chen" in all of China? Chances are most people could use their real name and still remain relatively anonymous.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (2, Informative)

SquarePixel (1851068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907738)

Any guess on how many people share the name "Wang Chen" in all of China? Chances are most people could use their real name and still remain relatively anonymous.

Uh, you are talking about "westernized" names. They're quite different to their real names. Also, a lot of Asian countries tend to shorten their names in casual usage and only use the real long name in official situations. For example Thai people have really long names, but casually everyone shortens it to the first 3-4 letters.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908070)

Chinese names are rarely that long. Normally 3 characters (incl Family Name), sometimes 2. Maybe 4-5, but that's really rare.

Names in normal usage are basically the same as in the West. Kind of like Hello Mr. Chen, or Hello Wang.
The casual usage you talk of is more like nicknames, like Dick for Richard.

But ya, I don't see what the point of the OP is. English names for identification works out just fine even with all the overlapping names. 10 people having the name John Doe doesn't make it that much more difficult for identification in usage. There are always other things to include to make the name more meaningful.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1, Informative)

matunos (1587263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907744)

I don't know about Wang Chen, but I've heard that everybody will Wang Chung tonight.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907804)

I'm sure the "Unique Names Rule" is not going to be far behind.

"Every chinese citizen must have a unique real name"

"Every name assigned to a child must be approved by the government, so it can be verified to be unique"

Every child born will also be assigned a permanent unique sequential code, in the form of a UUID, including a series of digits that represent the time of birth/registration, and a series of digits that represent the locality of birth, as well as a sequential serial number.

And every child shall be required to be permanently stamped and permanently implanted with a number of tags containing this number.

Every citizen must identify every internet comment post, blog entry, or web site with their unique name and unversal citizen identiciation number (UCID).

10 years later... anyone on the street found not to be bearing a permanent number matching them in the database will be immediately taken into custody, and potentially brought up on charges for failing to be registered.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (4, Funny)

LambdaWolf (1561517) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908024)

Every child born will also be assigned a permanent unique sequential code, in the form of a UUID, including a series of digits that represent the time of birth/registration, and a series of digits that represent the locality of birth, as well as a sequential serial number.

And then all the kids with 6-digit UUIDs will scoff at the newcomers with 7-digit UUIDs...

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908480)

Pffft. Sez Mr. 1561517!

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (0, Redundant)

mat128 (735121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908706)

Reminds me of /. ;)

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (2, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908078)

Every name assigned to a child must be approved by the government

This is already true. I forgot where the link to the article, but China restricts names in several ways. The most prominent being that it has to be able to be typed on a keyboard and entered into a database. My understanding is that only a fraction of the Chinese characters are represented in operating systems. Baby names are limited to that fraction.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (5, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907810)

Any guess on how many people share the name "Wang Chen" in all of China? Chances are most people could use their real name and still remain relatively anonymous.

Certain pieces of information are key nodes that link other clusters of information. You're right in so far as a name itself may not be unique and if given nothing but that piece of information, it'd be hard to single out and individual. But real names are very rarely isolated like that. There is usually a entire clusters of information around a name. And this rule would simply ensure that those clusters stay attached to any given individual (or at least - harder to isolate).

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907864)

There are of course many possibilities of name overlap but I do not think that would be an issue. What it seems they would do is have a registered account to access the internet, similar to that of our Slashdot account except you would only get one, it would use your real name (Social Security number equivalent backing it), and if you posted a bad thing you would lose Karma (being that the largest followed religion is Buddhism).
Wait, I've seen that Karma somewhere before...

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (2, Insightful)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908286)

heya,

Actually, the largest religion isn't Buddhism (or Taoism), per se, because they aren't really practiced as a "religion", as such.

Most Chinese just have a mix of weird cultural superstitious, that get passed on in the family. They believe in a heaven (celestial court), and various Gods/deities/ghosts etc, but usually in a very general sense. This is something of a stereotype, but often they'll just pray in the hopes that their kids will get good marks at school, or they'll earn good money etc. They don't really mind/care much about the history behind it, or the reasons for it.

Even the way they practice Buddhism is more like just a collection of superstitions, or "thought systems"/"cultural practicses" (as the Wikipedia article refers to it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_China [wikipedia.org] )

Very few Chinese people/family friends I know actually know much about the religion itself. Ironically, I'm Anglican, and I sometimes seem to know more about their faiths (from an academic point of view) than many of the practitioners do. Often, I've pointed out the reasons they're doing something, or they history behind something, and they'll be like...oh....we've just always done it because our parents did.

And officially, the Communists/CCP hate religion anyway, although this has relaxed somewhat.

Cheers,
Victor

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1)

jadin (65295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907958)

Unless all Wang Chens are "processed" due to the actions of just one.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907978)

You do realize how many Chinese characters and variations there are right?

Just because English phonetic translations look the same, doesn't mean the names are actually the same.
What you see as Wang or Chen may actually be multiple different Chinese characters.
Example: Use Google PinYin IME and type "Chen" and see how many different characters pop up.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908406)

Yeah but the vast majority of Chinese with Chen as their last name use the same character:

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907984)

Stoopid ethnic joke heard in my childhood (1970s):

Q: Why don't they have phone books in China?
A: Because there are so many Wings and Wongs, you'd probably wing the wong number.

My ex-wife (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908414)

Thirty years after marrying her, my ex-wife now has more chins than the Beijing phone directory.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (1)

mat128 (735121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908710)

LOL!! Thanks for this great joke :)

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907986)

I bet there'll be a lot of names like Yin Dao Yan, Qian Lie Xie, Wei Shen Jing, and Ji Ba Mao.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (4, Funny)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908620)

I bet there'll be a lot of names like Yin Dao Yan, Qian Lie Xie, Wei Shen Jing, and Ji Ba Mao.

There are so many Wings and Wongs in China, it is very likely to Wing a Wong number.
It had to be said.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908692)

Hao Long is a Chinese name.

Re:Does this really do a lot of good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908662)

Any guess on how many people share the name "Wang Chen" in all of China?

No, but there are few with the name Wang Solong

Badum tsssss

Whoa... Tough crowd

Blizzard? (2, Funny)

scumfuker (882056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907710)

Is that you?

Re:Blizzard? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907736)

This is an advanced indication that China is preparing to become one of Facebook's biggest partners.

Re:Blizzard? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907850)

Obviously Blizzard might have been informed about the rule early, or China could have been in negotiations, since they are a large company, so they could have the rule implemented on their forum systems ahead of the Chinese rule becoming public.

It would make sense in theory... If it was the case, why was blizzard the only one?

No.. I don't think it has anything directly to do with Blizzard.

I'm afraid Blizzard might have given the chinese officials some ideas :-/

Sounds like WoW (1)

maliamnon (1848524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907720)

World of Warcraft is doing something similar with RealID ( http://us.battle.net/realid/index.html [battle.net] ). It is "completely voluntary"; at least for the moment. I suspect there will be a push for more accountability in all online endeavors soon in an attempt to slow down the horrors of internet anonymity.

Re:Sounds like WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907750)

And speed up the horrors of real world stalking, harassment, and general criminal behavior. Huzzah.

Blizzard (1)

initjh (989289) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908134)

The timing of this and Blizzard amuses me a bit. Maybe they got the ideas off each other?
I keep getting this image of BFFs Blizzard and China bouncing ideas off each other while smoking cigars, while whipping their gold farming slaves.

(I don't actually play WoW, so I wasn't able to add the proper imagery. WoW pros please help.)

Not actually done, just a proposal (4, Informative)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907734)

From TFA:

A leading Chinese Internet regulator has vowed to reduce anonymity in China's portion of cyberspace, calling for new rules to require people to use their real names when buying a mobile phone or going online, according to a human rights group

It looks like some people want that to be the law, not that it is the law.

Re:Not actually done, just a proposal (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907808)

And like US regulators I suspect it's as easy as just writing a rule. Lots of regulatory agencies create rules that are not laws, but have the same force as law, such as the "Know Your Customer" regulation (requires banks report cash transaction greater than $10,000).

Re:Not actually done, just a proposal (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907938)

The real name system has been debated and the government in china has been trying to implement it since 2005 AFAIK but it's never succeed because there's too many agencies governing the internet in china with conflicting rules. Plus people and companies simply ignore them or just don't follow them, an example would be real-name registration in 2005 for gaming such as WoW in china but web cafes don't enforce the rule and kids bypass the rule by using fake names. The situation in china has always been too many rules and too much difficultly in enforcing said rules. Another example being the environment, they have some of the toughest laws on paper, even more stringent then europe but the reality is obviously different. The government vows to do many things but whether it can is an entirely different challenge.

Re:Not actually done, just a proposal (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908334)

heya,

A lot of it is probably petty squabbling between different departments/divisons/fiefdoms.

It's like they're all warlords, and we're back in the Warring States period...lol...

And Mao Ze Dong was definitely not Qin Si Huang.

Cheers,
Victor.

you FAI,L It (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907746)

'*BSD Sux0rs'. This ResounDd as fiiting Deeper into the

Name change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907754)

If ever brought into force in my country I suppose I'll have to go through the legal process of changing my name to "John Smith".

Disturbing (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907776)

Although the article does seem biased, I do not mind as I agree with the sentiment that this move to eliminate anonymity is disturbing. This leads me to two questions:

  • What do you think the "end-game" plan is for the governing body of China?
    • Full cutoff from the West?
    • Winning the hearts and minds of its citizens?
    • Encouraging foreign businesses?
    • Something else?

    Something seems a little backwards here...are they really all that naive to see that they may end up losing control?

  • On a less serious note, isn't this a copyright violation of Blizzard's real id [battle.net] ? I mean Blizzard's is voluntary, but maybe they could sue China for a copyright violation... (yes I am being sarcastic)

Re:Disturbing (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908498)

I generally assume the Chinese government expects to become a democracy of some sort in the long run. Long being the operative term. Short term they want to avoid ending up like Russia after the Soviet Union fell. Or Africa and India after the colonial powers left. Hell, China itself under Mao is a perfect example of what atrocities can happen when random "revolutionaries" gain power. In other words a slow controlled shift rather than an abrupt one that implodes the economy.

Remember that it took the west centuries and a millennial old traditions (ie: Greece, Rome, etc.) to move towards democracy and freedom. Centuries filled with some quite bloody and unsuccessful attempts such as the French Revolution. Culture and society adapt slowly, especially in rural poor area, and assuming otherwise lead to horrid things (see Africa).

My name is Wang Chen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907786)

Hey, that's my name too. In fact, one billion other people seem to have registered with this name as well. Go figure.

Hello, I am Mr. Lee... (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907798)

Thats right, The Mr. Lee....

Chin? Chin? Chin? Anyone? (0, Flamebait)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907818)

This would be more effective if Chinese people had real names.

Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (-1, Troll)

imerso (1445543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907828)

Although I never agreed with totality control, from sometime ago to this date, I started to change my mind about anonymous everything. I really started to suspect that the most interested parties are criminals. Well, as Google said, if you don't have anything to hide, why are you so afraid of not being anonymous at all? I can't see the point. To this date, cameras and identification everywhere are okay to me if they'll prevent me or my my family to be killed because of our car or our cellphones. Thank you.

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907936)

Your name, address, and birth date please.

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (1)

Conception (212279) | more than 4 years ago | (#32907988)

Cameras and identification everywhere won't prevent you or your family from being killed. They might make it easier to catch who did, but it won't make you safer.

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908240)

[citation needed]

The thing is that polar bears in zoos are pretty safe too. Maybe they're happy and don't mind being watched all the time, I don't know. But we're human beings and should have the right to choose one way or another. We should provide that for each other. We are the ones who chose to live in society instead of nature, and that should always be of the most benefit to the most people, and should never make people feel miserable or uncomfortable. The government are the servants of the people, we need "leaders" for organization and protection, not for control. Any time organization and protection interferes with our rights then it is going too far and it is not worth it.

I'm in favor of anonymity online because I see all the good it does people. It allows completely free media and it allows people to be honest about things they would never dare express in their real every day lives.
We should control our information, no one else.

Our information does not belong to the governments.

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908008)

Thank you for your observations, Mr. Imerso. If that is your real name. [dramatic chorus]

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (1)

Hooya (518216) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908058)

So, when can I come over and install a camera in your bedroom?

I hope that you see that you do have something to hide. And that having something to hide doesn't necessarily have to be the sole domain of criminals.

For any politician spouting the same line, I ask that you first install a camera in your office. After all, the office is paid for by the citizenry. It's public property.

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (5, Informative)

inviolet (797804) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908114)

Although I never agreed with totality control, from sometime ago to this date, I started to change my mind about anonymous everything. I really started to suspect that the most interested parties are criminals. Well, as Google said, if you don't have anything to hide, why are you so afraid of not being anonymous at all? I can't see the point.

Because sometimes, society is mistaken about what it considers to be wrong. In that situation, which in my opinion is very very common, privacy allows you to act morally.

Recent examples come to mind:

  • Be a Catholic in England
  • Be a Protestant in England
  • Be an atheist in many countries
  • Spank your kids
  • Teach your kids evolution
  • Be gay
  • Be Jewish in Mexico or Germany
  • Discuss any of that stuff on the internet

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908196)

Shut the fuck up, you cocksmoking teabagger!

Re:Why do you need to be anonymous at all? (1)

imerso (1445543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908388)

You just reinforced my point. Do you see? I feel better than you. You are just an anonymous "marginal" coward. Thank you.

I don't think so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907950)

To those of you saying "we do it too" citing blizzard and facebook.. I don't see the connection or parallel. A company can demand you fill out a form however they would like but if you fail to comply (opting for the input of gyberish) what are they going to do - take away your birthday?

What I need to see in the US to be convinced "US does it too" is Anti-AC legislation in the US. From what I understand every time its been tried it has been shot down in the courts.

In terms of what telecom companies demand of you to provision telephone service I guess you can make that argument.. I don't know enough of the specifics to comment. However I will to counter its perfectly legal to purchase and use an international sim card in the US where there are no identity requirements. Due to minimization laws it can also NOT be used as an excuse to tap communications origionating and terminating within the country without a warrant... Although in practice good luck with that :) Secure codecs are your friends.

One problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907974)

What if my name really is breastfan42?

A. Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32907982)

yup a real name
there use this often...but not in canada its a 400$ fine

Just like Norway (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908046)

Norway also requires you to provide your real name when buying a mobile phone GSM SIM-card, this even applies to cash-cards -- Just like China. Norway also covertly tortures people, just like China, if they talk about NATOs false-flag terrorism or other issues the government wants the population to stay quitet about.

In Sweden you can buy a pay-as-you-go SIM-card for $6 (49 SEK) with no questions asked. The only issue with these cards is that the service provider is in theory able to store what SIM card number was abused in what phone using the phones IMEI, so do remember to never use the same phone to abuse both a SIM-card with a monthly fee and subscriber data and an anonymous pay-as-you go SIM-card. Also remember to change both phone the phone and the SIM-card when they compromize your phone.

It is also possible to point a device against a building and get a nice list of all phones active in it and find out what SIM-card you are using that way, but if someone like Norwegian goverment terrorist are watching you that closely because you say something bad about NATO or something like that then you're screwed anyway and it's probably time to move to slightly more free country like Sweden.

More chins than a... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908048)

Chinese chat room

People are missing the next step. (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908072)

The people discussing this are missing the point - this is just a first step for China to attempt to de-anonymize the internet in their country. The people who say "well, they still have some anonymity because of name collisions" are correct, but for how long?

Things like this are a precursor to more nefarious things, such as requiring government issued passes to connect to the internet to do anything on it.

Re:People are missing the next step. (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908160)

hey still have some anonymity because of name collisions" are correct

No they're not. if it's anything like Korea, then when you register you attach your citizen ID number to it. It's trivial to find out which Mr. Lee you really are.

Rule doesn't change much (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908088)

As things stand, unless the user is technically skilled, the real person can often be tracked to the phone / IP address. I think with enough knowledge you could use the web truly anonymously but not many people have that skill. Many will make mistakes that let the government correlate the computer with the person.

...as soon as possible. (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908104)

'We will make the Internet real name system a reality as soon as possible.'

When will possible get here?

South Korea (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908182)

This has been the norm in South Korea for years. But it isn't public full name that is used. Well some people can if they want, but on most sites you're allowed to set a nickname for display. You can still be anonymous so long as you don't break the law. The government just requires that a real identity be attached to each account. Frankly it does have some benefits. It's much harder to troll if you're banned. You have to steal another ID which is illegal to come back and harass people in games, on forums, etc.
The system only applies to sites and servers in Korea though, so if you want to speak out about the government and do something illegal, just do it on another countries servers.

Bit late now (3, Insightful)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908206)

Am I the only one who sees the weirdness in how people are reacting to the Chinese removing anonymity when western countries have been doing this for years now without so much as a "WTF!!". For example in Italy you cant even walk into a cafe now and go on the internet without some type of ID. Here in Australia if one buys a mobile phone sim card you have to contact the telco and confirm your name and address before they will even let you make calls. This whole thing reminds me of a sad but true saying

While the State exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no State.- Lenin (1870 - 1924)

Thank God I'm not in China (1)

Tig3rzhark (1225008) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908550)

Thank God I'm not in China, even though there are some places in the Internet that I don't care if they know my name, but those places are few. But for the other places, they can kiss my ass on that. I'll apply that to Apple too. Fuck the Chinese and if the US does it to, fuck them too.

Looks like somebody should be moving to China! (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908568)

WoW, seems like Blizzard should be packing up and relocating to China. There's some sorta meeting of the minds going on there.

Just try to force me... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908622)

I'd like to see them try to force me to use my real name on the Internet..... Oh wait.... Curse you, Chinese Government!!!!

Wang Chen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908660)

He's in favor of real names online? Masochist. :P

You think this is bad, comrades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32908752)

Well in capitalist America if you post on an Internet discussion board as an anonymous coward, the pigs that run the site will give it special treatment to make sure that nobody sees your post!

Totalitarism. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908792)

Its funny that all point to China *now* about *this*. To be clear on that Chins *has* human rights problems, but when it comes to surveillance and giving up privacy in telecommunications, the west should watch itself a little bit better. Mobile phones are mandatory registered (although its not always enforced) in *many* countries. And the Idea that the Internet gets better if everybody would use the real name is not genuinely Chinese (Hello, Blizzard). In some countries the people who print out emails see this actually as the solution to many problems - stimulated by the idea that there are many "criminals" (ranging in their mind somewhere in the undefined range between software pirate and pedophile) and that it will be easier to "catch" them if they use their real names and that internet in general will be much more thrustworthy. At the same time they are complaining Facebook is bad for the privacy of people.

Dear Politicians above 35,

i address some of the most common arguments given by you for such an idea

a) Criminals: Bad people will find a way to circumvent the obligation to give their real name. They also manage this with ID cards.

b) The Nazi/Violent Communist/or whatever is completely unacceptable to you has his right to say his opinion. I may not like it. I may disrespect him. I may contradict him. However forcing people into samiszdat usually does not work (in the way you want). To the extremists this gives just the argument that they are "really suppressed".

c) The solution to kids posing naked on the internet is *not* to enforce open names for everybody. The solution is to make kids feel in a way that there is no pressure from society to pose naked on the internet by *not* imposing on them a overly sexualized picture of the world (And *no* this can not be achieved by censorship, but only by a responsible society taking care and giving respect). Catching the sick pervert commenting on the picture may make *you* feel better, but it does not solve the problem.

d) School shootings will not be prevented by that. Many school shooters posted aggressive thoughts under well known identities. Fuck, many were even known in real life to be strange and alone. Nobody cared.

e) Can we save more people committing suicide? Possibly. But possibly they care the least about using their real name.

f) Terrorists. Sure. They will be totally afraid not only to posses to try to prepare to kill thousands of people, but to violate the rules for blogs. You'll really have them if, on top of the 20 times lifelong sentence you can give them 1 month jail time for not registering correctly.

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