649 Million China Internet Registrations – Mandatory

Today the South China Morning Post is reporting that all internet users have to formally register their real identities:

” … will be required to register their real identities under new rules imposed by the cyber regulator yesterday as the nation continues to tighten its grip on free speech.

The new regulation, expected to come into effect next month, will require internet users to submit identity details to website administrators for all online accounts, including blogs, instant messaging platforms, Twitter-like microblogs and forums.

People can still choose an alias and profile pictures, but they must register their real names with web administrators, Xu Feng , chief of the mainland’s top internet watchdog, told mainland media yesterday.”

We don’t do that in the free world but most people accept that if governments are so inclined then they can dig out the details, eventually. Dread Pirate Roberts used TOR, but they got him – eventually.

The trade-off for us that we can have as many re-tweets as we like and we don’t forbid topics such as Nobel Prize-winners.

The Berlin Wall fell because it held back an unsustainable political and economic system. Its fall was accelerated in part by access to Western electronic media such as radio and, closer to the border, television.

Will the fall of the Great Firewall of China accelerate because the Chinese Government adopts unpopular and unsustainable internet policies? I believe it will, because trying to control personal intercommunication within the country will prove to be impossible without closing down or severely choking mobile phone networks which carry most of the internet activity (86%).

The genie is still in the bottle, but the bottle will surely explode.