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The Chinese government has enacted new, stricter laws for the Internet, which the government claims will help protect privacy on the web. This is the latest move for China, as it continues to find ways to restrict Internet use within its borders.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the rules, which were approved by the National People's Congress on Friday, require all Internet users to give their full names when signing up with Internet providers and services. Another rule requires providers to find illegal material posted, delete them and then notify authorities. What constitutes as illegal material was not disclosed.
The state-run Xinhua news agency said the rules will strengthen privacy and other media outlets in China praised the rules. They come after rules put in place in March that required social media users to give their full names, but since the number of Internet users is so large, these have been difficult to enforce.
The New York Times notes that China has also recently been restricting access to international media outlets online, especially after Bloomberg and the Times reported on the growing wealth of China’s leaders’ families. chinese Internet users also exposed sexual and financial scandals that led to several resignations within the government.
Li Fei, a member of the Standing Committee in congress, said during a press conference that these new laws won’t impact the public’s ability to expose corruption.
“Some people worry about whether the law will affect the public's ability to express their opinion and criticism online and expose corruption. This is unnecessary,” Li said. “We still call on the public to expose any corruption by all means after the law comes out. The illegal and corrupted will be punished.”