Real Name Angst

August 29, 2005

The following are excerpts from an article reprinted on the China 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.

"Yu Hai, a sociologist from Fudan University, said he thought the real-name system was meaningless because it would do nothing to prevent cyber crimes. 'In real life, people are required to use their real names and identities most often. But there are still many crimes. I don't think that on the Internet, a real-name system could control cyber crime.'"

"Zhao Shilin, author of 'On Internet Communication' and teacher at the School of Film Arts and Technology at Shanghai University said the possibility of applying the real-name system to all Internet BBS, websites and chat software was questionable. He said that compared with traditional media, the Internet provided a relatively free space for Chinese netizens to speak out about their own ideas. The real-name system would jeopardize the public's most valuable channel for expressing their ideas."