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Government Agency Demands Blogs be Registered

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

(SNN) The international media organization Reporters Without Borders voiced alarm yesterday at the government's announced intention to close down all websites and blogs that are not officially registered.

Reporters Without Borders voiced alarm yesterday at the government's announced intention

The decree was issued on March 20 with the intention of controlling information that might "endanger the country." The announcement also said, "The Internet has profited many people but it also has brought many problems, such as sex, violence and outmoded superstitions and other harmful information that has seriously poisoned people's spirits," in explaining the requirement.

"The authorities use this type of announcement above all to intimidate website operators and bloggers," said a spokesperson for the press freedom organization said. "The authorities also hope to push the most outspoken online sites to migrate abroad.” The spokesman added, "Those who continue to publish under their real names will either have to avoid political subjects or just relay party propaganda. This decision will enable those in power to control online news and information much more effectively."

Many bloggers are beginning to receive email messages telling them to register

At the request of the authorities, the Internet Service Providers that host the biggest news portals informed their users that this procedure is obligatory. Also, many bloggers are beginning to receive email messages telling them to register to avoid their blogs being declared illegal. Bloggers that fail to register their sites will be fined up to $120,000.

"The authorities use this type of announcement above all to intimidate website operators and bloggers," writes RWB. "The authorities also hope to push the most outspoken online sites to migrate abroad where they will become inaccessible to those inside China because of the Chinese filtering systems." Officials from the Ministry of Information Industry refused to speak to NewsBlog 5000 staff.


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