[photopress:chongqing.jpg,full,alignright]In the Chinese municipality of Chongqing anyone using the Internet to spread malicious rumors can be fined between RMB1,000 and 5,000 ($126-633) or, in severe cases, can be held in detention for five days or more. The idea is to stop Chongqing Internet users from making ‘defamatory comments or remarks, launch personal attacks, or seek to damage reputations online.’
The new regulations follow rules introduced in August by the State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television that restricts video clips satirizing the government and celebrities.
Earlier, a Chinese court convicted dissident Guo Qizhen on charges of inciting subversion. Qizhen was sentenced to four years in prison after posting anti-government essays online. Chongqing’s law is seen as a further move against anti-government dissent.
In China, as elsewhere in the world, the Internet has become a vehicle for gossiping about celebrities and others in the public eye. In China people accused of various forms of wrongdoing — both the innocent and perhaps guilty — have been harassed online.
Chongqing also requires any companies, institutions, or IT systems to register with the Public Safety Bureau if they want an Internet connection. The idea was that this would apply to everyone but the China Daily reports there was a public outcry and that idea was dropped.
Source: Ars Technica
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