SHANGHAI (AP) — China plans to stiffen restrictions on Internet service providers as it seeks even greater control over the opinions voiced on the country's lively microblogs and other web forums.
A list of proposed changes to Beijing's Internet law released by the Cabinet on Thursday includes blogs, Twitter-like microblogs and online forums.
In December, China began requiring real name registration for nearly all microblog services on a city by city basis, though compliance has been patchy.
The latest regulations appear to be aimed at beefing up enforcement by requiring companies to cooperate with police and threatening criminal punishment and loss of business licenses for failure to comply.
The National Internet Information Office said in a statement Thursday that the requirement for microblogs helped curb illegal web activity and promote online trust and should be expanded to cover blogs and online discussion forums.
Companies providing such services must be licensed and must guarantee that those using them be registered with their real identities, say the guidelines.
The rules require Internet companies to keep logs for 12 months and to provide technical assistance to the police and national security agencies.
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