Microsoft, Yahoo To Censor Chinese Bloggers

    August 24, 2007

Microsoft and Yahoo have agreed to sign a pact with the Internet Society of China to sign up bloggers under their real names and to censor their posts according to Reporters Without Borders.

"The Chinese government has yet again forced Internet sector companies to cooperate on sensitive issues – in this case, blogger registration and blog content," the press freedom organization said.

"As they already did with website hosting services, the authorities have given themselves the means to identify those posting ‘subversive’ content by imposing a self-discipline pact."

Under the agreement, blog service providers are "encouraged" to register users under their real names and contact information before allowing them to post blogs. The service providers will be required to keep the information, which will allow authorities to identify them. In the past these companies have turned over information to the police leading to the arrest of their users.

The pact says "blog providers should monitor and manage comments … and delete illegal and bad information in a timely manner."

ISC secretary-general Huang Chengqing said: "Blog service providers who allow the use of pseudonyms may be more attractive to bloggers, but they will be punished by the government if they fail to screen illegal information."