China Cracks Down on Internet Cafes

Users must be photographed for national database of Web surfers
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2008 6:29 AM CDT
China Cracks Down on Internet Cafes
A Chinese man glues the Chinese characters for Yahoo! China onto a board advertising the global Internet portal in Beijing. China has resumed its crackdown on internet users.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

(Newser) – China has resumed a strict crackdown on Internet users less than two months after the Olympic Games, ending the more relaxed regulations that accompanied the international spotlight, reports the Times of London. All visitors to Internet cafes in Beijing will be required to have their photograph taken, reports the Times of London. All photos and identity cards will be scanned into a database maintained by China's Cultural Law Enforcement Task Force.

Bringing down the "Great Firewall" of China was supposed to be a legacy of the Olympics, and some 70% of China's Internet users oppose the new regulations, according to China's People's Daily. But China's message boards are devoid of any adverse comments—a sign that negative comments have been removed by the authorities. Close to 250 million Chinese use the Internet.
(Read more China stories.)

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