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China Moving to Real Name Registrations for Blogs

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the defeating-the-greater-internet-fuckwad-theory dept.

228

dptalia writes "China is moving to require people to use their real names when blogging. The proposed solution, arrived at by the Internet Society of China (affiliated with the ministry of information) would allow bloggers to use a pseudonym when blogging as long as they used their real name when registering."

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oblig (2, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554646)

I'm sure that there is a "Laung Wang" joke in there somewhere.

Re:oblig (2, Funny)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554662)

Are you kidding? Sum Yun Gai all the way.

Re:oblig (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554718)

Nah, I'm willing to bet a lot of people will be "named"
Chen Duxiu, Qu Qiubai, Xiang Zhongfa, Li Lisan, Wang Ming, Bo Gu, Zhang Wentian, Mao Zedong, Hua Guofeng, Hu Yaobang, Hu Yaobang, Zhao Ziyang, Jiang Zemin or Hu Jintao. Pretty much the equivalent to someone in the US calling themselves George Washington, Abraham Lincold and so on.

Re:oblig (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554768)

But why not use the equivalent of John Smith, or John Doe? Even giving your real name, provided you don't give any other information doesn't really help to identify you that much. Depending on your name, it might be harder to identify you by your real name, than if you had used a pseudonym that nobody else uses.

Re:oblig (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554860)

I would have posted the John Smith equivalent, but I don't know what that is. If you do, post it.

Re:oblig (4, Insightful)

bigdavesmith (928732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554914)

TFA doesn't give any details, but I'd be willing to bet that 'registering your real name' doesn't mean they just give you a box and you type in "Sandy O'Hoolahan". Considering China's record with internet regulation, there's probably going to be enough checks and controls so that once you register, if you blog something they don't like, they can find you.

Re:oblig (2, Funny)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555022)

I'm willing to bet nobody will have the guts to register as Liu Shiochi or Chou Enlai (sp?)

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554774)

I've been reading a blog of one of their dissidents Sum Ting Wong.

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554880)

How about Wun Leung Poo, or perhaps Wun Slung Lo.

Re:oblig (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555012)

I'm sure that there is a "Laung Wang" joke in there somewhere.

Isn't it about time some of the world governments started calling bullshit on these fucking Asian sons of bitches who brag about their thousands of years of "civilization", yet who treat their own people like dog shit? Whenever they're criticized about their human rights records, they demand retractions so they can "save face" -- i.e. not be shown to have their panties bunched around their ankles. Or they call it "an internal matter". But when Canada declares the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen, they scream and holler and throw demonstrations and demand it not be done and that they get apologies for the mere thought of doing anything that offends them.

They're nothing but a bunch of butchers who think that, because the Mohammedans get away with being so easily offended, they should be able to do so as well.

We should send that Rice bitch over to tell them to fucking grow up and join the civilized world.

Re:oblig (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555094)

"Everybody Wang Chung tonight!"

Fat men in jumpsuits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554654)

So we can actually tell who is posting the star trek fanfics in their parents hut?

It's a different society. (1)

a55clown (723455) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554666)

In the US, that sort of thing would be labeled fascist. What are their rights, anyway? Do they even have any?

And how do they expect to enforce this?

Re:It's a different society. (5, Insightful)

Dr. Donuts (232269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554726)

Actually, this sort of thing would be labeled "fighting terrorism" in the US.

Re:It's a different society. (5, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554978)

exactly. let's not get up on our moral high horse here. We americans still live in a country where all our phone calls and internet traffic are monitored.

Re:It's a different society. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555146)

No, dumbass. We live in a country where they *can* be monitored. Just like every other fucking country in the world. With the exception of banking and flying, none of your data transactions are monitored unless there's a court order. If you're communicating with known or suspected terrorists (not just everyone in the middle east) then they could monitor your conversations. But, if you cared about the law, you'd have realized that was legal and had been for more then 20 years.

We will only remain free as long as the free press tells the truth.

Re:It's a different society. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555276)

Prove that. Prove that although we can be monitored, we aren't. Because I can prove otherwise: I worked for a company called ClientLogic that does customer service and Tech Support for Earthlink in Albuquerque, NM. Every single message you send out through Webmail is kept on a server, whether or not you delete it at home. We even had the option of reading your mail and then checking a box to Mark them as "Unread". Because you are such a compliant citizen, it makes no difference to you, I'm sure, but all servers do that. If we didn't like what we read, we were trained to report it anonymously at work or simply to call DHS on our own.
And just like I'm sure in China they will be scanning large amounts of date for keywords, the same thing is done here. Noone is sitting there reading everything but certain sites and certain keywords or phrases activate surveillance on you. Google Total Information Awareness and Ecehelon...

Re:It's a different society. (3, Insightful)

McFadden (809368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555392)

none of your data transactions are monitored unless there's a court order
Funny - I thought it was exactly the fact that they weren't obtaining the necessary court order that has brought the Bush administration so much criticism recently.

Re:It's a different society. (2, Funny)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555168)

Not exactly. It is 100% legal and easy to bypass either. For phone calls, if you feel your personal line is insecure, buy a 'pay as you go' cell phone and register it with made up info. Online, there are darknets and proxies aplenty to keep you as anonymous as you choose. Both of these solutions are completely legal.

Re:It's a different society. (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555196)

> buy a 'pay as you go' cell phone and register it with made up info

I would be willing to bet that the NSA can infer the owner by matching up previous call patterns.

But yeah, I'm not claiming equivalency, I'm just cautioning against pride and hubris.

Re:It's a different society. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555494)

In China the cell phone users, which is in bigger number than in the US, are 90% pay-as-you-go types. No social security number required when purchasing anything. Don't you have to give SSN now to get on of those from Circuit City?

Re:It's a different society. (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555188)

And dont forget, our political dissidents are put in prison as well, arrest of a citizen based on nothing but desire, etc...

America is not very far away from Communist china or North Korea.. At least our current leaders are hell bent to get us to what they have.

I'm waiting for us to be required to carry our papers, and have a passport for inter-state travel.

Think I am joking???? It's on it's way kids, to help save us from T E R R O R I S M !

Re:It's a different society. (2, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555214)

Dear Lumpy,

Please don't be on my side.

Sincerely,

bunions

Re:It's a different society. (1)

Asrynachs (1000570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555242)

All this shit about having papers is due to political correctness. God forbid anybody would call it 'Islamic Terrorism' and just target.. the Islamists.. Oh well, this is the price you pay for living in a liberal society.

Re:It's a different society. (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555442)

apparently someone forgot to never forget Oklahoma City, the anthrax mailings, and all the other acts of non-islamic terrism lately.

4/19, nevar forget.

Re:It's a different society. (2, Insightful)

xarium (608956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555208)

The "right to privacy" (heralded by many a culture from as far back as the Magna Carter) is read by many citizenry (in the West) as equivalent to "the right to not be seen" and/or "the right to remain anonymous".

Most legal systems (including the US, England and other "traditionally western" governments) actually recognise it more like a "right to be left alone". It is that description which better embodies the ideals or free speech, free religion & ultimately universal suffrage than any condition of anonymity. Any government should be within its rights to request identification of yourself (how else can an authority verify you are worthy of protection or assistance?) but it would be unjust that they harass you based on what you may say about them to others.

The "right to be anonymous" is a very different thing from the "right to be left alone".

Re:It's a different society. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555490)

how else can an authority verify you are worthy of protection or assistance?

I'm sorry, but if your government thinks it's ok for authority to only protect or assist certain classes of people, your government is far down the wrong path already.

Re:It's a different society. (3, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555246)

Not mine. You must live in a different dimension where Democratic party talking points are reality.

Actually, lets get up on our moral high horse (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555352)

"All our phone calls and Internet traffic are monitored" is just. not. true, and even if it were true there is a rather distinctive lack of getting shot in the back of the head for saying something against the government. I mean, if the American government "monitored" anti-Bush diatribes on Slashdot like China "monitors" discussions of Falun Gong we'd be down 20% of our user base before you could say "In Soviet Russia..."

Re:Actually, lets get up on our moral high horse (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555476)

> "All our phone calls and Internet traffic are monitored" is just. not. true,

uh, yeah, it is. calls are tracked and callgraphs are produced using software from this company: http://www.cogitoinc.com/ [cogitoinc.com]

I didn't think this was even up for debate any more.

Re:Actually, lets get up on our moral high horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555502)

In Soviet Ru#$*^&^No Carrier

Re:It's a different society. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555224)

We probably learned it from them. The Democrats have been accepting campaign contributions from the Chinese government, as well as industrial ventures of the Chinese military for a number of years. I wouldn't doubt it if the Republicans had been as well.

Re:It's a different society. (1)

Extide (1002782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555282)

You know -- I have wondered about this. Why does the government want to monitor everything?
China -- no free speech, the govt wants to be able to match an anti govt blog with an actual person.
US -- free speech is part of the basis of this country. The only other thing they could do it use it for anti criminal activity.. I mean this entire country would CRUMBLE immediatly if free speech were taken away so thats never going to happen.

Let me make a disclaimer and say that I do NOT support bush, and am not a fan of any of this terrorism bs, I was just thinking about this and honestly not that sure...

Re:It's a different society. (1)

Will_Malverson (105796) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554766)

That sort of thing would be labeled fascist in China, too, except that any person who did so would promptly find him / herself in a work camp if lucky, and six feet under if not.

As for enforcing it, you just need to hire a few thousand people to work at the Ministry of Information, reading blogs and checking the registration of the blog. Check the IP address that the person blogs from and make sure it matches up with the registrant. If not, trace the IP. Pretty simple stuff, really.

fascist? (3, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554808)

Fascists who quote Marx tend to be called socialists or communists. The difference is really very superficial.

Re:fascist? (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555322)

Fascists who quote Marx tend to be called socialists or communists. The difference is really very superficial.

Given that "NAZI" was coined as a derisive abbreviation for Hitler's NASDP (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei = National Socialist German Workers' party), that's hardly surprising.

Re:It's a different society. (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554814)

In the US, that sort of thing would be labeled fascist. What are their rights, anyway? Do they even have any?

Damn it, that's not fascism. China does share some of the characteristics of a fascist state, but there are many non-fascist states that do not allow free speech. Different societies have different values, and in the growing homogenization of the West, that's lost sometimes.

Re:It's a different society. (3, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555052)

"Different societies have different values"

Yeah, and any society that stifles free speech is a society that needs to change.

Let's not pretend that "to each his own" applies when we're talking about governments/religions/societies that restrict basica human freedoms. The reason that "Western culture" is taking over in most of the world is because it is a BETTER CULTURE in many, if not most, ways. Too many people mistakenly wax nostalgiac for the good old days of the Old World, and forget that the Old World was mostly a living hell for the vast majority of the non-ruling class.

Different society? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555126)

"but there are many non-fascist states that do not allow free speech"

That's not a matter of "different values". It is a matter of government tyranny. In fact, such suppression of speech is one of the important "foundation stones" of fascism.

Re:It's a different society. (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555270)

Different societies have different values

Yes, they do: specifically, Chinese society values free speech, which is why the Chinese government has to take extreme effort when they want to suppress it. If Chinese society didn't value free speech, as you seem to want to imply, there would be no need for laws limiting speech because Chinese citizens would restrict themselves.

Re:It's a different society. (4, Interesting)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554846)

The same thing is in place for registering .us domain names, isn't it?

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/31/01 4239&from=rss [slashdot.org]

Re:It's a different society. (2, Interesting)

RappinTonyG (697324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554932)

The reason for domain name registration is so that a name is not consumed by an uncontactable individual. It's like owning a building to print/sell newspapers. If something happens to the property or you do something to it, they may need to contact you about it. What this is saying, however, is that you have to use a name that can be traced when blogging, which is an exclusivly speech activity. Basically it seems they require all journalists to be registered. This would be like the US government requiring all publications to discose who their authors are.

Re:It's a different society. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555050)

There is a substancial difference between registering a domain name and posting on a blog.

Re:It's a different society. (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555310)

I don't know about that. I go to a forum [redrockmicro.com] that requires the use of real names. I don't mind. It's for a product that I use, and there seems to be less idiots on the board. I think it is enforced by only allowing people who have bought their product to actually register.

Now I don't think I would want to do this for my user account at my LOST forums or Halo forums.

sizzle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554680)

the worst part of being branded is that burnt skin smell. gross.

How long? (4, Insightful)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554696)

With the way things are going many other places (especially given recent court battles here in the US about children online and privacy and protection), How long until we see tactics like this on THIS side of the Pacific?

Additionally, tactics like this in China, I can't help but wonder, will this in some way allow US Intelligence to decide exactly who is responsible for attacks against US Cyber Targets? If people are required to use their REAL names when registering (let's say on Yahoo just for an example), and there is a Yahoo group comprised of mostly Chinese users, which post all kinds of anti-American things, or organizing these attacks, what's to stop US Intelligence from forcing Yahoo to turn over the names of those registered?

Furthermore, what if the US decides to expand the "Patrio" Act, to include requirements like this (Hell they've already forced ISPs and phone companies into turning over ludicrous amounts of information).

Maybe I'm wearing a tin-foil hat and not realizing it, but is anyone else troubled by the recent trend in online privacy intrusions? That is one thing that is nice about the internet, it affords you a certain amount of anonymity. Could we be witnessing the end of that?

Also, just how much REAL difference is there in the US's privacy invasion crimes, and China's? Could it be that China is just more blatant about it?

Re:How long? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554862)

With the way things are going many other places (especially given recent court battles here in the US about children online and privacy and protection), How long until we see tactics like this on THIS side of the Pacific?
With the COPA in the works? Well, I'd say in about 3..2..1..

Seriously though, I'd say you're not being too tinfoil-hattish. The internet is still a privacy haven, and wherever there is privacy, there will always be the potential for those doing or planning something nefarious. As far as the OMG THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! crowd are concerned, this is a serious hole in society.

It would be tinfoil-hattish to say that this will turn us into a police state.

Re:How long? (2, Insightful)

TastyCakes (917232) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554872)

I'm just trying to figure out how you turned this into a criticism of america... that was smooth man, I got to the end and had to remind myself that I don't have to register a blog in my real name..

Re:How long? (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555344)

I'm just trying to figure out how you turned this into a criticism of america... that was smooth man, I got to the end and had to remind myself that I don't have to register a blog in my real name..

yet.

Let us not forget (0, Offtopic)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555364)

That Congress has REPEATEDLY attempted to suspend Habeas Corpus.

Feel free to check here [loc.gov] and run a search for Habeas Corpus. Look around. Congress has tried repeatedly to suspend it, to get rid of it, to void it, etc. The Supreme Court has ruled SEVERAL times that they can't do this.

It KEEPS happening. Criticism? Maybe. But it's WARRANTED criticism. What's absurd is that there isn't MORE outrage concerning all of this. Because of that, I am forced to ask the question "How Long?".

Would I want to live anywhere else? Well, lately Canada and Australia are looking more attractive, but for the moment, I shall keep my faith in the system (however broken and abused it may be at current) and in the American people to one day wake up, and realize we've lost something very dear.

Every day I watch rights that I stood up to defend, that I sacrificed my blood, sweat, and tears for, that I now draw a VA Disability check because of, disappear, by greedy and abusive politicians.

Wait, there's someone knocking on my door. Hmm that's funny, you look an awful lot like someone from that movie Men In Black. What's that? Yes I post on slashdot. Yes I'm PixieDust. Hmm? Talk you say? Alright.

In other news, neighbors of a disabled Veteran were shocked today to learn that the cute girl down the hall had mysteriously disappeared last night...

Oh, before I forget...
/tinfoilhat off

Re:Let us not forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555504)

> for the moment, I shall keep my faith in the system (however broken and abused it may be at current) and in the American people to one day wake up, and realize we've lost something very dear.

Thanks for serving. Sucker.

/glad both of his grandfathers died around 10 years ago, so they lived long enough to see the demise of the Nazis and the Soviets, but they doesn't have to see this shit.

Anonymity is different than privacy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554900)

Privacy needs to be defended to the death, I think there's some balance to be played with anonymity. Think of it like caller id. If someone calls you, you can see who it is before you answer. You can even block anybody who tries to call you that blocks their number, so nobody can call you anonymously.

If this can be done for email, spam is dead.

Obviously, this would be bad for slashdot, as we would not get some info that we would have otherwise, but if you want to talk directly to me, email me, chat with me, I want to at least know your real name.

Posting AC because I don't have an account. No need to be ironic.

Re:How long? (1)

tony1343 (910042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554958)

You may have some points on some of your questions. A ban of anonymous political speech would almost definitely be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court though.

Juridiction (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554976)

what's to stop US Intelligence from forcing Yahoo to turn over the names of those registered?


Simply because the server of the China branch of Yahoo who are legally forced to hold this information will probably be on chinese territory and thus, clearly outside the juridiction of FBI.
Simetricaly, China's police won't be able to force any information out of the american branch of Yahoo... ...at least unless AOL manages to buy Yahoo and decides to publish study...

At the top-level, multinationnal mega corp are only bound by internationnal laws.
The actual different branches have only to comply with local laws.
That's how goods producers are able to hire underpaid employee in 3rd world country to do cheap labor : such salary should be illegal in headquarter's host country, but the workers are employed by a foreign branch, which must comply to local law which in turn don't forbid such low income.

China -- thanks for the perfect example (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554712)

This is a perfect example of why we need to preserve the possibility of anonymity on the net.

It's fine to authenticate financial transactions and what not, but there is no complete freedom of speech without the ability to be anonymous at times.

Re:China -- thanks for the perfect example (3, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554996)

> there is no complete freedom of speech without the ability to be anonymous at times.

I think you mean "there is no complete freedom from the repercussions of your speech without the ability to be anonymous at times."

Re:China -- thanks for the perfect example (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555116)

there is no complete freedom of speech without the ability to be anonymous

Sure there is. There is just no *comfortable* freedom of speech without anonymity.

Re:China -- thanks for the perfect example (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555496)

Freedom of speech assumes that you cannot be stopped from speaking, which becomes impossible as soon as they duct tape your mouth shut.
Anonymity is required to stop the duct tapers in many situations.

Re:China -- thanks for the perfect example (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555124)

Anonymous, like a Slashdot coward, is the way to go ;-)

Re:China -- thanks for the perfect example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555498)

But anonymity is something that has only recently been invented--along with the internet. All throughout history, if you wanted to say something, you'd have to say it directly to people. And they'd obviously know who you were.

Anyway, there's no such thing as true anonymity. If an authoritative organization were so inclined, they could locate you just from your single Anonymous Coward post on Slashdot. There's always logs of your activities in cyberspace, no matter how careful you are. It's just a false sense of comfort that we like to think is protecting us and our ability to speak out mind without fear of punishment.

Really, this is all silly. There was never anonymity before, and there won't be any time soon. Just be careful that what you're saying really is covered by the right of free speech.

yeah, the name's zhang (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554730)

that really narrows it down.

tagged (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554744)

tagged as commiebastards

How will that apply to laowai (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554770)

As a foreigner in China this is distressing.

While you may enjoy some courtesies in day to day life and doing business The Law is generally not to be messed with. As is distributing dissent in whatever medium you may choose no matter where you come from. I wonder very much how this will affect western news agencies as well. I had heard of thes laws coming ont he books when I arrived but this is the first I have really heard since.

Honestly though I dont think it will change too much for ordinary Chinese. The culture of "not talking about it and just getting along" with more daily freedoms and a prosperous country seems to do them quite well - if you ask me or them.

Re:How will that apply to laowai (1)

cunina (986893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555348)

The culture of "not talking about it and just getting along"

Tick, tick, tick...

From the ... dept (3, Insightful)

wik (10258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554776)

Is it too much to ask for a little professionalism with an article's "from the ... dept"?

Re:From the ... dept (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554830)

Re:From the ... dept (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555336)

Interesting theory, but it makes me wonder, what about you and me, Mr. AC? You're an anonymous coward, and it would take a little bit of work for anyone here to get my real name. So why aren't we yelling "shitcock" at each other?

Are we allowed to divide our "Normal People" into "real normal people" and "closet fuckwads"?

a refutation (2, Interesting)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555370)

A famous, funny, and somewhat insightful joke to be sure, but I'd have to say that the vast majority of insightful, inspiring, bullshit-cutting dialog I've ever witness (or partaken in) has been on the internet. Check out the top of that blackboard--the comic was inspired by Unreal Tournament 2004, not +5 Insightful comments on slashdot. For all of the bullshit and flame wars out there, I think that anonymity inspires honesty and frankness that, while holding the potential to inspire personal attacks and general disruption, also holds the potential for real, unhindered communication in a way that most real-world communication sadly lacks. If a friend or coworker or member of my family says something stupid and shortsighted about (for instance) Iraq, most of the time I let it slide because it isn't worth the potential long-term consequences if they decide to take offense or otherwise become bothered by my response. Even less-divisive topics can be troublesome. I remember one time a somewhat-ditzy coworker of mine starting ranting about how sucralose (Splenda) was soooo unhealthy because she heard it contained chlorine, and I was like, "ummmmmmm...., so?" "Chlorine is bad for you!" "Well, chlorine bound up in a molecule isn't *inherently* harmful. In fact, you get far more chlorine from eating salt!" and somehow she took offense (ok, so maybe I laughed at her just a *little*. Couldn't help it.) Put a stopper on the entire conversation, and for a weeks afterwards she wasn't as friendly with me. Oh yeah, and I've probably alienated at least a dozen other coworkers with simple, non-confrontational, matter-of-fact statements regarding my (dis)belief in God and religion in general. (I'm not a completely insensative person, but I happened to be working with a ton of highly religious people and they kept asking me about my church and my prayers and stuff. And when I said "I don't believe in God" they usually asked why. So I told them.)

Anyway, you just don't have to worry about this kind of shit online. At any time you can walk away and find another forum (or hell, sometimes just another username) and never talk to those people ever again without any undesirable long-term consequences. Yeah, you can swing too far in the other direction and devolve into vicious, pointless flaming (safe in the knowledge that you don't personally know anyone involved) but on the whole I think there's more rational discussion on the net than in polite-and-politically-correct real life.

Re:From the ... dept (1)

SenatorTreason (640653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554832)

Yeah, I'd have to agree. I was a bit surprised and disappointed. While I'm not particularly against "fuckwad", I would like think that a Slashdot editor could do a bit better.

Re:From the ... dept (1)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555108)

It's spelled correctly.

As a friend of mine in Jersey once said under similar circumstances: "How much fucking professionalism you want anyway?"

(It's not the lack of professionalism that's bothering me, it's the fact that the "from the...dept" doesn't make any sense here.)

So say me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554778)

Any effort that ends up curbing "blogging" activities is a GO in my book.

Said the AC.

apples and oranges (1, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554782)

OK, this is a total apples and oranges comparison, but...

Generally, in a society with freedom of speech, it's a good thing to have people use their real names in online forums. As an example, I participate in one usenet group where there's a person who has made a bunch of very bitter enemies (not including me), who want to plonk her. But she changes her handle frequently, so they can't. Regardless of the merits of the actual disputes involved (which I couldn't be less interested in), it would be a big plus for the group if she would allow these people to plonk her, because they simply don't want to read her posts.

Another good example is a web site I run (see my sig) where I catalog free books, and accept user-submitted reviews. My policy is to require reviewers to give their real names, and one of the points of this policy is to keep people from reviewing their own books. You'd think that my policy would be impossible to enforce, and therefore pointless, but actually most people have compunctions about out-and-out lying about their identity, even if they don't see any moral issue in reviewing their own book under a fanciful login name. It's psychology, it doesn't have to make sense! Amazon.com has similar issues (although the books they deal with and the books I deal with are basically disjoint sets), and recently I noticed that when I tried to review a book on amazon, I couldn't, because I've never bought anything from them. They've made a new requirement that you have to have bought something from them in order to write a review, and I think the idea is simply to keep people from making sock puppet accounts.

None of this means that I'd like a government (any government, mine, China's, or whatever) to start regulating speech on the internet, or forbidding anonymous use of the internet. Obviously the Chinese are simply doing it for purposes of political repression. Anonymous use of the internet is a good thing sometimes, and we need to be suspicious of anything that would make it easier for Big Brother (*cough* Homeland Security) to forbid anonymity. But that doesn't mean that it's always a good thing that the design of the internet makes it so hard to maintain and prove a consistent online identity, even when you want to.

Mountains Out Of Molehills (3, Funny)

thelifter (1017186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554786)

I feel bad for the Chinese government. I mean with all the free trade and stuff they're barely even communist anymore. You may call stunts like this "repression". I call it China staying in touch with it's roots. Remember the chairman. (A single tear falls)

Annoying, yes, but... (4, Interesting)

808140 (808140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554804)

Names are by no means unique identifiers in China -- there are only a hundred or so family names in common use and the characters used in people's names are often recycled. With the population of China being as large as it is, even if you use your real name there could easily be 50 people in your area who have exactly the same name.

Now if they were requiring that a person register with their ID number -- everyone in China has one -- that would be something. It surprises me, actually, that they're not doing that. I wonder why?

Re:Annoying, yes, but... (3, Informative)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554834)

The society, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Information Industry, said no decision had been made but that a 'real name system' was inevitable.
Judging by that quote, I get the impression that they aren't necessarily going by real names, but some sort of identifier which would allow them to determine which individual posted content, which could very well be the ID number that you speak of.

Re:Annoying, yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554994)

according to my understanding of the term, it's better translated to 'real identity'. normally it means you physically go to some government agency, provide ID, home address, work place etc. oh and registration fee(which is probably the major motive).

Same Name? (1)

clragon (923326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554806)

there are certain popular names in China. Just as an example, many people with the family name "Lu" like to give their son the name of "Shuan". If I were still living in China, I probably wouldn't want to share the same name as another person who is posting things in blogs that would be offending to the Chinese government...

my thoughts (3, Insightful)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554810)

FUCK YOU CHINA!

And by China I mean "Chinese government". Seems appropriate as the rest of the world mistakes US for US government!

Re:my thoughts (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555166)

I like this guy, but I ran out of mod points too soon.

Re:my thoughts (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555390)

Yes. Meanwhile our government here in the USA wants to spy on our phone conversations and look into our bank transactions.

Where did the US government come from? (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555420)

Sure, you can say that Bush did not get the majority of the votes, but he got well over 40%. So while you might not individually be responsible for the government there are enough people in the US that are.

Why you ask ? (1)

MasterPoof (876056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554828)

Because we all know that it will be a hell of a lot easier to find dissidents if they need to use their real name...

Real Name (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554908)

Oh yeah that made me think. I have so many identities that some times I'm not sure who I am. I'm sure there are others here with that problem ;).

    PenGun
  Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

What has more Chens than a Chinese phonebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16554930)

Poor Wu Chen won't be any more anonymous than me, John Smith.

Ingenious (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554934)

This is simply ingenious. Someone deserves a promotion. This is so good, I thought it was a good idea. It took me a couple of minutes to realize the insidiousness of this.

This isn't a problem or that much of a burden at all for all those people who want to blog about the same random stuff. What they did today, their fights with their friends, etc. While annoying, it's a definite step up from no blogging at all. This will probably make a great many teens happy (if they are anything like the people on blogger/myspace/etc). They can even write poetry and stories and such anonymously.

At the same time, this gives the government an exact name and address to go "talk to" if someone writes something "inappropriate." I suppose you'd better be careful what those poems and stories you write are about, huh?

It seems like a win at first glance, but it's worse than no blogs at all (without all the teens who want to write about their day, a bug chunk of people who would want less restricted 'net access is much smaller).

I bet Machiavelli would be proud.

PS: How cool is it that Safari knows how to spell Machiavelli's name? I wonder if that means anything...

Re:Ingenious (2, Interesting)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555380)

But it could just as well be ingenious in the opposite direction as well. I note that it says nothing about addresses being required. In a country with well over a billion people, what are the chances of anyone having a unique name?

As always with this sort of thing, the devil will be in the details. It may be as bad as you think, but it might be a clever sap for the PHBs with no teeth what so ever. Sort of a "Who is Wen Chen and why is he saying these horrible things about me?" situation.

--MarkusQ

Good luck with that (2, Informative)

opencity (582224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554944)

Reminds me of The Stainless Steel Rat. When the blogging gets tough, so do the remaining bloggers.
When I was in China in the 90s they had blocked cnn.com but only the front page.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555410)

If you didn't like the news today go out and make some of your own. Ok. The problem with this is: if "your" Govmt blocks it, why write it? Whta good does it fdo to make your own when ther means of production is really owned by the people who are not "the people"? If a select group of people can control what you say, are you really free? What the hell, exactly, are you talking about?

I, for one... (1, Insightful)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16554970)

I actually think that this is a good idea (sort of). I think that when it comes to publications (not private data), anonymity is one of the Internets weak points. There would be less people mucking things up if they were personally identified.

I don't see personal identification as a problem in places like the US where there are laws that protect their right to speech and whatnot, but in China I have a feeling that this will get a lot of people in prison.

Sometimes people need to know who you are so that you will watch how you behave. You could argue that this is an infringement upon personal freedom, but successful societies do rely on certain levels of moderation (neither too loose or too tight). Not all information should be kept private, right?

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555018)

Sometimes people need to know who you are so that you will watch how you behave. You could argue that this is an infringement upon personal freedom, but successful societies do rely on certain levels of moderation (neither too loose or too tight). Not all information should be kept private, right?
We're talking about blogs here (like /.). Do you really think it's essential to know who I am? Or the identity of ScuttleMonkey?

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555080)

What a shame we don't moderation for "-1 Dangerously Stupid"

Re:I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555448)

sure, until someone decides to muck up the internet at your expense and you spend the next 8 years in prison.

This should be done in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555040)

..to clean up all the racist, nazi and zionist trash. Would be interesting to see the lamebrains without the cover of anonymity!

But then again, 100% of USA internet and telecom traffic is already monitored round the clock anyway, so there's no real need for that.

Re:This should be done in the US (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555148)

I wonder if the GP has any idea of how nazi his/ser comment sounds. "Clean up... Something that I classify as trash" DISCLAIMER: I am not a racist, nazi or any of those things, but acting like a nazi against nazis makes you a nazi also. I am for the law, only the law, not hate.

Re:This should be done in the US (1)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555324)

I like the way you slipped zionist in their with racists and nazis. That wasnt very nice. If you want to be antisemitic just say clean up racists, nazis and the jews! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zionism [wikipedia.org] Zionism is not something to compared with racism and nazism.

How can they tell if a registered name is real? (1, Troll)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555074)

I mean do they have software that can detect a real name from a fake one? Most of the web sites and blogs I have registered with have no idea that Orion Blastar is not my real name. I even get postal mail addressed to Orion Blastar from my web registations (I used my real postal address with my pen-name) and even the junk mail and credit card companies think that Orion Blastar is for real, despite not having a SSN tied to the name at any of the credit reporting companies. With the USA having more advanced technology than China, how can China enforce that sort of thing?

How long before the USA and other nations adopt the same policy of blogging with real names. Oh the horrors and 1984 references. Better register all the nicknames and pen-names we will use for our lifetime now, before they start checking so they can all be grandfathered in before those laws get passed.

ugh.... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555152)

"Better register all the nicknames and pen-names we will use for our lifetime now"

Better hope the domain squatters are not reading this. You know.... the guys who register just about every available alphanumeric combination .net .com, etc and then put a useless search site to "hold the place".

Next thing you know, you'll go to register your blog under the name "ZapgunKing13" (out of your big interest in videogames) and then you find out that you have to pay some Hong Kong front company $39 in order to pry it out of their clutches.

Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555268)

they'll find out who I am.

Why all the fuss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16555316)

Seriously. I live in China. Why is this a big deal?

Probably not related (1)

IHaveNothingToSay (1017302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16555460)

but I read TFA and googled 'free anonymous blogs'. The first result was from the EFF which mentioned invisiblog.com, which is down but doesn't state why. Again, probably not related, but curious all the same. Not looked into anon blogging before because I don't blog - not even sure if it's a search result the chinese will ever see....
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