By Beth Main.
Authorities in Beijing are debating draft legislation to enforce online identification in order to strike back at “online bullying”. The 30th meeting of the 11th NPC Standing Committee is discussing the draft, which would enforce online identification to reduce online bullying, along with all illegal activities online.
The China Internet Network Information Centre puts China’s estimated number of Internet users at more than 538 million as of June this year. These users are at risk of increasing online scams, fraud, identity theft and libel, all part of a rapidly growing Internet industry and a frail system of legal protections for personal information, say experts.
Weibo already encourages users to verify their identity by registering their personal information. However with heavy state censorship all over the internet many netizens rely on an alias or anonymity to protect themselves. Of course, the draft promises that all information will be “protected” to ensure the rights of internet users.
The draft does contain good news for those who are sick of spam messages, it bans organizations and individuals from sending business-related messages to individual’s mobile phones or email addresses without their consent.
It is not yet known when the legislation might come into effect.