Sep 062009
 
 September 6, 2009  Posted by  Featured News, Govt, Non-U.S., Online, Surveillance

Jonathan Ansfield reports:

News Web sites in China, complying with secret government orders, are requiring that new users log on under their true identities to post comments, a shift in policy that the country’s Internet users and media have fiercely opposed in the past.

Until recently, users could weigh in on news items on many of the affected sites more anonymously, often without registering at all, though the sites were obligated to screen all posts, and the posts could still be traced via Internet protocol addresses.

But in early August, without notification of a change, news portals like Sina, Netease, Sohu and scores of other sites began asking unregistered users to sign in under their real names and identification numbers, said top editors at two of the major portals affected. A Sina staff member also confirmed the change.

Read more in The New York Times.

Out of curiosity, I went to Sina’s English version web site to see if anything was posted there. That’s when I first read their privacy policy. I don’t know if it’s always been this way, but here’s how it reads today:

6.1 Information Collection, Sharing and Disclosure. It is SINA’s policy to respect the privacy of its users. When you sign up as a SINA Netizen, SINA will require your name, email address, gender, date and place of birth, education, occupation, yearly household income, zip code and any other information as required (“Registration Data”). In addition to the Registration Data provided by you, SINA may also collect and store certain personally identifiable information in SINA’s secure database, when you visit the Web Site, when you use some of SINA’s Services, or when you enter promotions or sweepstakes on the Web Site. SINA also automatically receives and records information from your browser including but not limited to your IP address, the pages you requested and the time of request. SINA may use the information it obtains relating to you, for its internal business and marketing purposes, including but not limited to (i) fulfilling your requests for certain products and services; (ii) customizing the marketing materials and the content you see on the Web Site; and (iii) contacting you about special and new products or services. SINA may disclose your information to third parties and share your information, including both personally identifiable and aggregated information, with SINA’s partners and/or alliances, when (i) SINA gets your consent to share the information; (ii) SINA needs to share your information to provide the product or service you have requested; (iii) SINA needs to send your information to companies who work on behalf of SINA to provide a product or service to you; (iv) required by subpoenas, court orders or legal process; or when (v) your actions on the Web Site violate the TOU or any of SINA’s usage guidelines for specific products or services on any applicable web page.

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