China Steps Up Web Monitoring, Driving Many Wi-Fi Users Away
Posted in: Censorship at 26/07/2011 20:14
New regulations that require bars, restaurants, hotels and bookstores to install costly Web monitoring software are prompting many businesses to cut Internet access and sending a chill through the capital's game-playing, Web-grazing literati who have come to expect free Wi-Fi with their lattes and green tea.
The software, which costs businesses about $3,100, provides public security officials the identities of those logging on to the wireless service of a restaurant, cafe or private school and monitors their Web activity. Those who ignore the regulation and provide unfettered access face a $2,300 fine and the possible revocation of their business license.
"From the point of view of the common people, this policy is unfair," said Wang Bo, the owner of L'Infusion, a cafe that features crepes, waffles and the companionship of several dozing cats. "It's just an effort to control the flow of information."
China boosts internet surveillance
Police have told cafes, hotels and other businesses in central Beijing to install surveillance technology for Wi-Fi users or face fines and possible closure, in a further tightening of internet controls.
China has the world's largest and most sophisticated web censorship and monitoring system, which it has tightened still further after the Middle Eastern uprisings. Measures included blocking major virtual private networks, which allow people to evade internet controls.