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China Passes Law Requiring People Identify Themselves Online

China passed rules yesterday requiring people to identify themselves when signing up for Internet and phone services, as the Communist Party tightens control over the world’s largest population of web users.

The law, ratified by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, will enhance protection of personal information online and “safeguard public interests,” the official Xinhua News Agency said. China, home to 550 million web users, censors the Internet by blocking access to websites with pornography, gambling and content critical of Communist Party rule.