According to reports, Chongqing municipality, in order to better combat internet related crimes, is going to require that all internet users register their names and information. The original report came out on July 7 in a local Chongqing newspaper and has stirred up quite a bit of debate. Questions revolve around whether or not there is legal precedent to do this (and the relation between local and national laws) and whether or not this measure will improve the police’s ability to fight crime or whether or not it’s just more red tape and headaches for everyone. Jack Qiu (see above link) seems to think that it’s mostly for show the political correctness of Chongqing:
JACK QIU: They don’t target everybody. When the paper tiger wants to do something, you know, it’s taking out one out of a million people and then making that a big story. You know, Chinese saying goes it’s like killing the monkey to scare the rats, right?
An anonymous poster on Danwei voiced similar sentiments:
However, to me, this piece of news illustrates just how much the police in China are bureaucrats and not actually stopping crime and patrolling the streets. Go into any police station in China there will be plenty of police officers registering you for this or that or just standing around. Walk outside and you won’t find any walking the streets. You might find some low paid security guy with no power, but not police.
On the Chinese side, there are those who think that there’s a great deal of misunderstanding of this new regulation. One writer argues that the supposed 3,000 RMB fine and half-a-year no internet penalty — which is really got people up in arms — is simply not in the wording of the regulation. He says that after checking out the law on the government website that there was no mention of this penalty. Furthermore, he argues that this new regulation is in line with the 1997 national law that requires people to register whenever they set up internet service. He also adds that Chongqing net users are only required to register with their ISPs and not with the police.
And of course, there are people who are pissed off about this new regulation. Consider the title of this essay: 请问重庆公安：精液要备案吗? The writer asks if, were the incidence of rape to go up, would men be forced to “register” their sperm with the police. Yikes! That sounds unpleasant, even for people who jack off frequently.
Photo from droitvp.org.