China Bans Personal Web Sites

Only businesses may launch sites
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2009 1:17 AM CST
China Bans Personal Web Sites
Some of China's estimated 220 million web users surf the Internet at a cafe in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

China has banned individuals from registering personal domain names as part of its toughest crackdown yet on the Internet. Anyone seeking to register web sites must now supply a business license under the new regulations. Millions of existing web sites in China are being checked and will be taken offline if the owner hasn't supplied the correct documentation, say authorities.

Government officials say the move is part of a campaign to stamp out Internet pornography in China, but human rights advocates worry that the new regulations will be used to clamp down on dissent. Beijing tightly controls the Internet, but the rise of social media and user-generated content has been straining its censorship system, the Financial Times notes.
(Read more social networking stories.)

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