World Bulletin / News Desk
China has ordered the country's internet platforms to verify users' true identity before letting them post online content, the latest step by authorities to tighten policing of the web.
All social networking sites and discussion forums must "check the real identity" of their users before they can post online content and comments, under new regulations published Friday by the Cyberspace Administration of China.
The new guidelines take effect October 1.
China already had laws requiring companies to verify a user's identity but it was applied in a fragmented and incomplete way.
But forcing online posters to identify themselves -- which will probably require scanning a government-issued ID as proof of identity -- makes it much more difficult to post online anonymously.
China already tightly controls the internet aggressively blocking sites of which it disapproves and curbing politically sensitive online commentary, such as on criticism of the government.
The new regulation was adopted as part of a cybersecurity law that took effect in June, which bans internet users from publishing a wide variety of information.
That covers anything that damages "national honour", "disturbs economic or social order" or is aimed at "overthrowing the socialist system".
The law also requires online platforms to get a licence to post news reports or commentary about the government, economy, military, foreign affairs, and social issues.
Since 2013, China has imposed prison sentences on users whose messages are deemed "defamatory".
But new restrictive measures have multiplied in recent months, ahead of the Communist Party's autumn congress during which President Xi Jinping is expected to be re-elected.
China has enforced new rules on what is permissible content, with content such as celebrity gossip blogs and online video streaming sites hit by the regulations.
The authorities have also stepped up efforts to clamp down on virtual private networks (VPN), software that allows people to circumvent the Great Firewall.
EU figures show IT companies such as Twitter and Facebook removed 70 percent of illegal hate speech
Gersan to install charging stations throughout Turkey following agreement with Tesla Motors Netherlands B.V. last month
Journalists were able to access the service on Sunday and officials confirmed it has been restored.
Computer scholars develop games letting impaired people improve their sight through online games
Project 'Neogene' to study DNA samples from Turkey's Anatolian region
The "growing societal unease" over the intensive use of smartphones by children is "at some point is likely to impact even Apple", they warned.
Such people would be "central" in their social networks, and thus likelier to spread disease-causing germs from one group to another.
Aselsan device for monitoring vehicles' speed and distance expected to avoid outflow of almost €1 billion ($1.17 billion)
Social media users call out company for echoing Trump policy
Beijing Automotive Group Co (BAIC) chairman Xu Heyi said over the weekend the company will phase out sales of conventional cars in Beijing by 2020 and nationwide by 2025, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Shazam, which identifies songs from short excerpts, likely to be rolled into Apple’s mobile device software
Turkish defense minister in London says 'there will be no delay'
Local tech start-ups in Gaza Strip must work around Israeli blockade; open borders could boost their opportunities
Activists and tech leaders including Tesla's Elon Musk have called on the UN to ban fully-automated weapons systems that could revolutionise warfare while putting civilians at heightened risk.
Tweet capacity doubled in almost all supported languages