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Draft could change China's Internet law

(Xinhua)

08:10, June 08, 2012

The government has begun to solicit public opinion on proposed changes to a 12-year-old law on management of the Internet in China.

A list of proposed changes to the Internet law released by the State Council yesterday includes blogs, microblogs and online forums.

The draft amendment aims to improve the administration and orderly development of online information services, as well as maintain national security and legitimate rights and interests of the public and information service providers, according to a statement by the State Internet Information Office and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The draft encourages service providers to launch self disciplinary activities and the public to supervise Internet information services.

The draft also clarifies the licensing procedure for online forums and microblog sites, and standardizes entry criteria for websites and management responsibilities of service providers.

Illegal web activity

More rules will apply to real-name registration if it passes.

In December, China began real-name registration for nearly all microblog services.

The statement said the requirement helped to curb illegal web activity and promote online trust and should be expanded to cover blogs and online discussion forums.

Companies providing such services must be licensed and guarantee those using them are registered with their real identities.

The rules require Internet companies to keep logs for a year and to provide technical assistance to the police and national security agencies.

China has more than 500 million Internet users, the most of any country in the world.

Anyone can offer their opinions on the draft amendment before July 6 by logging on to websites www.scio.gov.cn, www.miit.gov.cn and www.Chinalaw.gov.cn.

Xinhua/Shanghai Daily

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