The Chinese government is making life difficult for anonymous internet users. The government, after banning several VPN services in the country, has announced new rules for managing internet forums and communities and what they post online.
Apple, abiding the new rules, removed VPN apps from its online store in China and also set up its first data center to comply with the strict laws of the country. Apart from banning VPN services, China also pressurised international publishing house Cambridge University to remove specific scholarly articles and book reviews on Chinese affairs from the Chinese internet.
According to a report by Asia-Pacific-focused The Diplomat, the new "Management Regulations" have been released to "Promote the healthy and orderly development of online community" and "safeguard national security and public interest". The new regulations are applicable to all online platforms that provide interactive communication such as online forums and communities.
The regulations aim to stop anonymous users from using the internet in the country. The internet companies and service providers have been instructed to manage all posts by their users and identify the person related to the content, a person not identified should not be allowed to post anything online.
A list of guidelines to manage content has been issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China. These are in Chinese, and the translated version of said guidelines, as per The Diplomat, are mentioned below.
- Opposing the basic principles in the Constitution
- Harming the national security, revealing state secrets, subverting state power and undermining national reunification
- Damaging national honor and interests
- Inciting national hatred, ethnic discrimination and undermining national unity
- Undermining the state’s policies on religion or promoting cults and feudal superstitions
- Spreading rumors or disrupting social order
- Spreading obscenity, pornography, violence, terror or abetting the crime
- Insulting or slandering others and infringing upon the lawful rights and interests of others
- Violating any other laws and regulations.
Any content not following the above rules are not allowed on the internet in China.