January 2, 2012
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (SCNPC) in China passed a law which requires citizens using the internet to identify themselves when signing up for Web and phone services. Blaming social media “discussions” for having increased “instability in certain regions” there will be a real name registration that “will make web users more cautious when posting comments online.”
The newly approved legislation forces internet users to use their real names when signing up for internet, mobile phones or land-line phone service. This stipulation will allow them to post information or commentary online.
Chinese state-sponsored media stated that “the law should escort the development of the internet to protect people’s interest. Only that way can our internet be healthier, more cultured and safer.”
Murong Xuecun, a prominent Chinese writer, explains: “Their intention is very clear: It is to take back that bit of space for public opinion, that freedom of speech hundreds of millions of Chinese Internet users have strived for.”
Network service providers will be required to have their customers use their real names and other identification to post commentary in public forums.
It has been proposed that an ID card would be issued to citizens with specific numbers attached to them that could corroborate their identity.
The philosophy behind such measures is that “There is no absolute Internet freedom. Internet information has its own boundaries — it must not harm others’ freedom, be subject to moral standards, and comply with laws and regulations.”
Li Fei, deputy director of the legislature’s Legal Work Committee and member of the SCNPC, said that “this is needed for the healthy development of the Internet.” Fei went on to say that “the country’s constitution protects citizens’ rights in supervising and criticizing the state and government officials’ behavior.”
The Chinese government justifies this move as preserving the integrity of the internet from those who would choose to make defamatory statements against the government with malice and hide under anonymity. The SCNPC believes that they are following suit after other countries who have recently installed similar controls over the free flow of information and commentary on the internet.
In December of 2012, Terry Kramer, US Ambassador attending the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, claimed that China and Russia are pushing for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to have oversight extensions to include the internet – as of now, they are solely governing broadband telephone communications and international calls.
Canada, Australia, Europe and Japan have joined the US in propositioning the WCIT to limit the range of totalitarian controls the UN can impose on the internet. This alliance and their ideas are being met with harsh criticism from the ITU. There has been a surprising alliance formed with some Arab nations with Russian and China in allowing the UN to take over the internet.
Kramer asserts that China and Russia are pushing for the ITU to have oversight extensions to include the internet – as of now, they are solely governing broadband telephone communications and international calls.
After much banter, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and China have withdrawn their proposal for individual nation’s power over internet addresses and digital domains which would have decentralized power over web addresses.
The US House of Representatives voted against the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and their scheme to oversee an “increased government control over the Internet” that would “undermine the current multistake-holder model that has enabled the Internet to flourish and under which the private sector.” The European Parliament in England paved the way last month by passing an identical resolution.
The unilateral vote was 397-0 to approve the fight against the UN and their international move to control the internet.
In the US, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) request to obtain a copy of Presidential Policy Directive 20 (PPD20) or the new cybersecurity declaration from the executive branch of our US government.
Obama has outlined a protocol that explains procedures that enable the military industrial complex to prevent digital attacks from foreign nations, hackers and any other definable threat to national security by specifying “constitutes an “offensive” and a “defensive” action in the rapidly evolving world of cyberwar and cyberterrorism, where an attack can be launched in milliseconds by unknown assailants utilizing a circuitous route.”
It is said that PPD20 directs the military to take over the internet in the event a cyber-attack is acknowledged by the President. Obama has outlined a protocol that explains procedures that enable the military industrial complex to prevent digital attacks from foreign nations, hackers and any other definable threat to national security on the internet. This “secret law” allows the National Security Agency (NSA) and Pentagon to employ armed forces to ensure American cyber-infrastructure and digital communications.
In 2011, Obama announced the proposal of internet ID cards issued to Americans described by Howard Schmidt, the White House Cybersecurity coordinator, as an “identity ecosystem” for the internet.
Gary Locke, Commerce Secretary, spoke at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research to explain the internet ID card. Locke said: “We are not talking about a national ID card. We are not talking about a government-controlled system. What we are talking about is enhancing online security and privacy, and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities.”Add This to Technorati Faves