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Internet restrictions in China tighten

ROME (AsiaNews): People in China who want to use the Internet must now be clearly identified, according to an official announcement published through the official news agency, Xinhua.

All anonymous surfing of the Internet is now banned, which AsiaNews believes casts a sinister light on respect for human rights by the new leadership of Xi Jinping.

The Xinhua report says that the new arrangement is for the protection of personal data, so in practice, anyone who wants to access to the Internet, from a fixed computer or mobile telephone, will have to sign an agreement detailing their real identification information for their provider.

The rule requiring Internet users to register with their real name has been in place since 2011, but has never been enforced.

The announcement appears to be a response to the protests that have appeared on the web against government policies and complaints against the corruption of members of the Communist Party.

Recently, a group of 71 students and analysts from across the nation sent an open letter to the Communist Party calling for an end to censorship on the Internet and a less repressive policy within national courts, which the group said are full of government interference.

The Chinese authorities strictly control the Internet and regularly block news stories from abroad deemed not to be in line with their policies or standards of truth.

However, this does not prevent hundreds of millions of Chinese people from using the Internet, often using the micro-blog for discussions on issues of national interest, but which the authorities now want to seem to silence.

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