China proposes new Web rules that could enhance censorship

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — China's government is proposing new regulations governing where businesses register their Web addresses, a move that could strengthen its ability — and legal standing — to censor the Internet.

Under new draft regulations released this week by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, any firm that provides services to Chinese Internet users must register its domain, or Web address, with the authorities.

Although analysts believe the government's primary motivation is to reel Chinese Internet firms closer under Beijing's watch rather than add restrictions on foreign businesses, the new rule could pose hurdles for anyone in the world seeking to access the Chinese network.

Beijing has recently pushed for what it calls "Internet sovereignty" to run its Internet as it wishes.