Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

China Moving to Real Name Registrations for Blogs 228

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the defeating-the-greater-internet-fuckwad-theory dept.
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

China Moving to Real Name Registrations for Blogs

Comments Filter:
  • oblig (Score:2, Funny)

    by Digitus1337 (671442)
    I'm sure that there is a "Laung Wang" joke in there somewhere.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by IcyNeko (891749)
      Are you kidding? Sum Yun Gai all the way.
      • by Ironsides (739422)
        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: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Bing Tsher E (943915)
          I'm willing to bet nobody will have the guts to register as Liu Shiochi or Chou Enlai (sp?)

        • by dangitman (862676)
          Abraham Lincold

          The skateboarder? That guy rocks.

      • Where's Wun Hung Lo?
  • How long? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PixieDust (971386) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:18PM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TastyCakes (917232)
      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? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by aussie_a (778472) on Monday October 23, 2006 @10:50PM (#16555344) Journal
        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.
        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          I got to the end and had to remind myself that I don't have to register a blog in my real name..

          yet.

          Look, if all else fails, you pay [Anonyous Proxy Registrar] to incorporate a limited liability company (LLC) which you use to register the blog.

          You 'own' however much/little of the company so that your name does not have to be disclosed.

          The primary contact, etc etc is the LLC you've just made, whose contact info goes back to [Anonyous Proxy Registrar].

          ^The above^ is the next step beyond a proxy registrar. If

          • by dangitman (862676)
            Look, if all else fails, you pay [Anonyous Proxy Registrar] to incorporate a limited liability company (LLC) which you use to register the blog.

            Simple! Convenient. Just incorporate a company so you can write a blog.

    • 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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:19PM (#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.
    • by bunions (970377) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:55PM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ricree (969643)
        I think you mean "there is no complete freedom from the repercussions of your speech without the ability to be anonymous at times."
        Which is also known as freedom of speach. People have pretty much always been able to say whatever they want, that part is nothing new. However, it really doesn't mean much when you can be punished just because someone didn't like what you were saying. Free speach isn't truly free unless it means freedom from repercussions.
        • by bunions (970377)
          No one is free from repercussions of their speech. If I say that I think Windows XP is super-secure and Vista is going to be completely awesome, the likely repercussions are that a horde of people on slashdot will assume I'm an idiot.

          'Repercussions' is not synonymous with 'jail time.' And speech free from the kind of repercussions you're talking about does not require anonymity.
    • 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.
      • by Surt (22457)
        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.
    • Anonymous, like a Slashdot coward, is the way to go ;-)
    • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:59AM (#16556028) Homepage Journal
      The Supreme Court agrees with you (as did the Founding Fathers who published the Federalist Papers under a pseudonym).

      McIntyre vs. Ohio Elections Commission (514 U.S. 334 (1995)) ended with the Supreme Court deciding "an author's decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment." Talley vs. California was decided with the comment "[p]ersecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all."

      Nor is fear of persecution the only issue. The Supreme Court also noted "On occasion, quite apart from any threat of persecution, an advocate may believe her ideas will be more persuasive if her readers are unaware of her identity. Anonymity thereby provides a way for a writer who may be personally unpopular to ensure that readers will not prejudge her message simply because they do not like its proponent."

      Anyway, I don't envy the Chinese authorities investigating a blogger and having to walk through the country going "Is there a Chang here? We're looking for Chang."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    that really narrows it down.
  • 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
  • From the ... dept (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wik (10258) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:25PM (#16554776) Homepage Journal
    Is it too much to ask for a little professionalism with an article's "from the ... dept"?
    • Re:From the ... dept (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:31PM (#16554830)
      • 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 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
    • 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.
  • by thelifter (1017186) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:27PM (#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)
  • by 808140 (808140) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:29PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by xSquaredAdmin (725927)
      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.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      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
      • by 808140 (808140)
        I seriously doubt they would do anything of the sort, that's a very un-Chinese solution. The Chinese may punish people for things we westerners think don't deserve punishment, but I very much doubt that they would punish someone they thought or knew was innocent of the crime. In Chinese culture, embarassing someone is a special no-no, and they would feel very bad about the collateral damage from a policy like the one you describe.

        Also, for the record, "Chang" is not a Chinese surname. I've never understo
  • my thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThorGod (456163) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:29PM (#16554810) Journal
    FUCK YOU CHINA!

    And by China I mean "Chinese government". Seems appropriate as the rest of the world mistakes US for US government!
    • Yes. Meanwhile our government here in the USA wants to spy on our phone conversations and look into our bank transactions.
    • 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.
    • Seems appropriate as the rest of the world mistakes US for US government!

      Which isn't entirely unreasonable, seeing as the US votes in the US government, unlike China.
  • 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 blogge

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MarkusQ (450076)

      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 (Score:3, Informative)

    by opencity (582224) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:46PM (#16554944) Homepage
    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.
  • I, for one... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vga_init (589198)

    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

  • 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 t
    • by krell (896769)
      "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
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by puracc (1012643)
      No, they cannot. I'm from China. Just to show you some facts: One of my bank account (which is used for ebay) is under a fake name (the Chinese equivalence of John Smith). The name on my ISP account is fake. My utility bill is always send to a person died 1182 AD. And the name on my cellphone bill is, guess what, fake. None of these involve any underground or high-tech work, and all I did was to lie when being asked.

      Knowing these, do you still think real name mean real name?

      Yeah, yeah, yeah, maybe many peop
  • Phil Zimmermann [wikipedia.org]. ...All /. readers owe it to themselves to become familiar with US vs. Zimmermann [eff.org].

    --
    Slashcode bug # 497457 - unfixed since December 2001 - Go look it up [sourceforge.net]!

"Maintain an awareness for contribution -- to your schedule, your project, our company." -- A Group of Employees

Working...