After the state media reported early this week that China is easing on its plan to require bloggers to register their real names when creating blogs, it appears that everything stays the same. The Blog Service Governance Communique, published by the Internet Society of China still maintain strict controls over the country’s bloggers, requiring them to register with their real names and identification cards.
The society’s new draft code of conduct seen on its web site says web log service providers must still get their users’ real names and contact information.
Critics say the requirement violates a blogger’s right to freedom of expression and puts them at risk of punishment or imprisonment if they post controversial opinions about politics, religion or other issues.
In October 2006, China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII), the domestic Internet overseer, commissioned the ISC, which falls under its sway, to study the feasibility of instituting a real-name registration policy for bloggers. The study’s focus was whether or not the government could require would-be bloggers to register using their real name, and do so using official identification.