On Wednesday, February 4, China announced it will require all Internet users within the country to confirm their real names and official IDs starting March 1st. Beyond trying to find ways to stop Internet fraud, China is attempting to prevent dissenters in the country who are against its communist regime from speaking out against the government in a worldwide setting where peoples from other countries can then spread the word about China’s actions.
What might this mean for Internet users in the future?
A person’s ability to speak freely in any country will be stymied. Some users will self-monitor everything they write in an attempt to protect themselves from being profiled and targeted. Many users will face a higher degree of scrutiny and perhaps intimidation from government officials.
Worse yet, in some countries, users will be incarcerated or perhaps killed for speaking out against their leaders or their country’s policies.