Regulation would promote honest cyberspace

Chinese online service providers and users will be blacklisted if they fabricate, post or spread information that violates social morality, business ethnics or honesty toward the public, according to a proposed regulation.


Businesses and individuals offering technologies, devices or services to publish or broadcast fake information to disrupt cyberspace and damage society's interests will also be blacklisted, it said.


Public opinion is now being solicited on the proposed regulation, issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the nation's top internet watchdog. The regulation aims to promote the building of credible cyberspace and safeguard the legitimate rights of residents and organizations.


The administration has posted its workplace and e-mail addresses on its website, welcoming people to share their views on the regulation until Aug 21.


The proposed regulation also states that online service providers and users whose websites or business licenses are closed or revoked, and those who fail or refuse to rectify errors when they are punished by the administration and other internet-related departments, will be identified "dishonest" and blacklisted.


The blacklisting will be published by the administration and valid for three years, it added.


Wang Sixin, a professor of internet law at Communication University of China, said the regulation shows the country's efforts and determination to clean up cyberspace.


Wang said he regarded the regulation as an "upgraded version" of rules previously made by the administration, adding that the blacklist is urgently needed and necessary to improving the online environment.


"In the past, the administration often launched campaigns against online violations and named violators, but some website operators and service suppliers didn't take it seriously, because the administrative punishments were not strong enough to affect their businesses," he said.


"But the situation, I believe, will change, if the blacklist regulation, a bigger threat, takes effect."


Zhu Wei, an associate professor at China University of Political Science and Law, applauded the regulation, seeing it as a new step by the administration to manage cyberspace by rule of law and ensure honesty online.


"I'm glad that the current version identifies those who disregard business morality as 'dishonest', because attacks - such as posting untrue information between two internet businesses for competitive reasons - are often seen and not good for the business environment," he added.


Wang said the blacklist is reasonable.


"When enterprises realize they could miss opportunities and lose out on developments in the next three years of this internet era, they will strictly abide by rules and regulate their operations," he said.


Efforts to build an honest cyberspace have expanded in recent years. In December 2018, for instance, e-commerce businesses were encouraged to make use of technologies that prevent dishonest behavior and improve overall online credibility.


Source: China Daily, at: