On the heels of the release of a White Paper outlining the internet rights of Chinese citizens - zealously titled "Guaranteeing Citizens Freedom of Speech on the Internet" - the Chinese government is instituting strict regulations that extend its internet surveillance controls.
Across China, regulations now mandate that Internet cafes require smart ID cards for internet access and install surveillance cameras accessible by provincial government authorities monitoring their customers. Businesses that do not comply with these terms are threatened with fines and other punishments.
In the past year the Chinese government has gone to some lengths to limit public opinion of dissent online by limiting Internet access via Internet cafes. But as always, behind such censorship initiatives - ostensibly intended to protect children from pornography and guide them in "wholesome and correct" Internet usage - lurks the specter of a more disturbing, Orwellian exercise of control over Chinese netizens seeking public forums.
So take a seat in an Internet cafe in Sichuan. After we check to make sure your face matches your ID card, don't forget to swipe it so we have record of your patronage. Don't mind the cameras, please, just go about your business, accessing the free and open internet safely. Keep in mind that you may be traced and punished for letting loose opinions which include any of the following: "divulging state secrets," "subverting state power," "jeopardizing national unification," "damaging state honor and interests," "jeopardizing ethnic unity" or "state religious policy," (Read more after the jump!)