Reuters is reporting that China has issued new Internet regulations that could place much of the Internet off-limits to Chinese readers. (China to require Internet domain name registration)
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ordered domain management institutions and internet service providers to tighten control over domain name registration, in a three-phase plan laid out on its website (www.miit.gov.cn) late on Sunday.
“Domain names that have not registered will not be resolved or transferred,” MIIT said, in an action plan to “further deepen” an ongoing anti-pornography campaign that has resulted in significant tightening of Chinese Internet controls.
Only allowing Chinese viewers to access sites registered on a whitelist would give Chinese authorities much greater control, but would also block millions of completely innocuous sites.
Rebecca MacKinnon at the journalism program at Hong Kong University said that one could interpret the move to require foreign websites to register with Chinese authorities.
“These are the folks who brought us Green Dam so anything is possible. They are people with a track record of emitting unreasonable schemes.”
The Chinese censors have been working overtime to make sure subversive sites such as The New York Times and the BBC are often blocked. It’s all a part of a national campaign to fight pornography. And nothing is more pornographic to a dictator than freedom of expression or freedom of the press.