It's been confirmed by officials of the Internet Society of
China (ISC) that the country is investigating the adoption of a
real name system in parts of the Internet, reported the
Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post yesterday.
Hu Qiheng, ISC board chairman, was reported to have said on
Tuesday at 'Info China 2006' in Beijing that efforts were being
made to strike a balance between individual privacy and public
"The past understanding of privacy is too absolute," he said.
"Not only China but also the whole world should realize the
necessity of balancing individual privacy and public and national
A new system is likely to be adopted requiring Chinese netizens
to submit information such as their real names and ID card numbers
when they register a blog or Bulletin Board Service account.
Netizens will be able to continue choosing their own online name
and as long as they don't violate laws their personal information
would remain private and safe. The first area for real name
application will be blogs which are a popular form of
Internet-based diary. However, blogs have been used by some to
infringe upon the privacy and rights of others.
For example an infamous TV host had thousands of netizens visit
her blog because she wrote an article about a well-known TV
anchor's marriage history. It included some allegedly false
As a blogger's real name is unknown it's very difficult to
safeguard privacy and rights.
The ISC, affiliated to the Ministry of Information Industry, was
entrusted to form a blog research panel to provide solutions for
the development of China's blog industry. The real name system is
said to be able to protect law-abiding netizens' privacy.
Yang Junzuo, secretary-general of ISC's self-discipline working
commission, was quoted by Beijing-based China Times a
month ago saying the real name system was the solution. "Free
speech on the Internet does not include talking nonsense and not
taking responsibility. Bad symptoms will be curbed," he was quoted
However, not many netizens support the system. An online poll at
sohu.com yesterday showed that only one quarter of those surveyed
agreed that the system would crack down on online crimes while not
interfering with Internet use.
More than 70 percent of people were against it. They believed it
was "absurd" to enforce a real name system because of a minority of
people who committed online crimes.
Xinhua News Agency reported that Hu stressed at the meeting that
the ISC would adopt multiple ways to improve the Internet
environment. Hu was quoted as saying that the direct purpose of
improving the Internet environment was to enable the young
generation to grow up in an Internet-friendly environment like
those in developed countries.
(China Daily November 30, 2006)