Governments have always tried their hand at controlling the internet and the information that users posted. Some claim it is due to national security, while others approach it from an intellectual property angle, although in the case of China, word has it that due to the number of its citizens posting exposés about the country’s government and the alleged corruption underlying it, senior members of China’s National People’s Congress have begun to consider a bill in which users are required to report their real names to internet and telecom companies.
However according to the government, this would help prevent users from making malicious and anonymous accusations online which aren’t true. Considering that current practice already requires users to offer up their identity papers when signing contracts, it is unclear as to how this bill will be any different. At the moment Chinese internet users have had to put up with a wide array of censorship, ranging from the blocking of Facebook to Google and YouTube, resulting in China-made alternatives like Alibaba, Weibo and Youku (China’s equivalent of Google, Twitter and YouTube).