New Rules for Mobile Phone Users in China
Buyers of pre-paid mobile phones in China will have to provide identification under the regime’s new rules that started on Wednesday.
The policy is an effort by Chinese authorities to stop people from using false names when registering mobile phones. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information says the ruling will make it easier for police to crack down on spam, pornographic messages and telephone fraud.
But some say it will now be easier for Chinese authorities to spy on people. Public security personnel regularly monitor the telephone calls of known dissidents. Now other citizens could be targeted as well. Human rights advocates say the Chinese regime could track down people who spontaneously join protests, often organized by mobile phone.
Others fear the information could be sold to other spammers.
Lawyer Xie Yanyi says the regulations have no basis in China’s constitution, and that if business operators collect personal information without the user’s consent, it’s a violation of the law.
He said the rules would be impossible to implement.
[Xie Yanyi, Lawyer]: (second soundbite in the NTDTV report, double check name)
“There will be boycotts and resistance, and people will protest. Some will oppose this with legal means and others will simply refuse to cooperate. Taking a long view, this policy will be impossible to implement. In the end it will bring about corresponding costs.”