Last month it was blog users, this month it's blog owners. The Chinese government announced today that it will tighten restrictions on all Internet service providers for blogs, microblogs, and online forums -- forcing them to act as Web police, according to the Associated Press.
This is just the latest in a long list of restrictions that the government is enforcing on its citizens. According to the Associated Press, China began requiring real-name registration on all microblogs in December. However, people still seem to be sneaking under the radar.
The new restrictions entail making the Internet providers act as regulators in for real-name registration, according to the Associated Press. The blogs and microblogs are now required to work with the police and warn users of criminal punishment if they don't follow the rules and use their real identities. Additionally, all providers must be licensed and keep logs for a year that will serve to "provide technical assistance" to the authorities.
At the end of April, Sina Weibo came under fire by the government for fueling "toxic rumors" about a possible political coup and the social network was punished by having user comments deactivated for three days.
Just a couple of weeks later, in May, the Twitter-like service announced plans to establish a "user contract." The contract, which has dozens of rules, bans "promoting evil teachings and superstitions," "spreading rumors," and "calling for disruption of social order through illegal gatherings."