China Tightening Controls on Internet Access

Thursday, 27 Dec 2012 05:54 AM

 

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BEIJING — China's new communist leaders are ratcheting up controls on Internet use and electronic publishing following embarrassing reports online about official abuses.

The measures suggest leaders who took power in November share their predecessors' anxiety about the Internet's potential to spread dissent and their insistence on controlling information.

China's legislature took up a measure this week to require Internet users to register their real names. That would curtail the Web's status as a freewheeling forum to complain anonymously about corruption and official abuses.

The move comes amid reports Beijing might be disrupting use of software that allows Web surfers to see sites abroad that are blocked by its filters.

Regulators also are proposing rules that would bar foreign companies from distributing books, news, music and other material online in China.

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