Internet Real Name Registration System: A Number of Reasons to Use it and Not to Use It

August 29, 2005

The following is a partial translation by CECC staff of an opinion piece reprinted on the People's Daily Web site indicating the debate within China about requiring Internet users to register on BBSs, news groups, and games using their real names. Click here for more CECC coverage of this issue.

Pro-Real Name Registration System

  • First, at one end of the spectrum an Internet real name registration system can raise the moral level of the Internet, and at the other extreme can reduce the the various illegal actions committed using the Internet.
  • Second, an Internet real name registration system can play a useful role in protecting the youth. . . .
  • Third, an Internet real name registration system can protect freedom. . . . A real name registration system protects the orderliness of the Internet, and the only true freedom is orderly freedom. . . .

Anti-Real Name Registration System

At the present time [a real name registration system] is contrary to the original intention and spirit of the Internet, because the Internet was originally a virtual world, and to expect real people to appear under their actual identities will not allow the Internet to fully realize its utility. For example, some people who have not registered will be unable to look up information, study and learn, or utilize the Internet to vent their emotions.