Explanation concerning the “Internet Information Service Management Rules (Opinion-Seeking Version of Revision Draft)
The existing “Internet Information Service Management Rules” (hereafter named the existing Rules) are the basic regulations for our country’s Internet management, and have had a vigorous function in the healthy and orderly development of our country’s Internet information service since promulgation in 2000. Following the rapid development of our country’s Internet, many new situations have emerged, a number of new problems are faced, in order to further stimulate the healthy and orderly development of the Internet, safeguard national security and the public interest, protect the lawful rights and interests of the public and Internet information service providers, standardize Internet information service activities, according to the Constitution and corresponding laws and regulations, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other relevant departments have conducted revision of the existing Rules, and have formed the “Internet Information Service Management Rules (Opinion-Seeking Version of Revision Draft”. Hereby, the relevant matters are explained as follows:
I, The main principles of revision
According to the principles of vigorous use, scientific development, management according to the law and guaranteeing security, persisting in equally stressing development and management, persisting in starting from reality, realistically serving the practice of Internet law enforcement, the following principles have been mainly respected in revision work:
1, Persisting in coordinating management and development. Encouraging Internet information service providers to launch information services beneficial to raising the nation’ quality and promoting economic and social development. Management is important in safeguarding national security, the public interest and the lawful rights and interests of citizens, and is important in strengthening basic management and resolving prominent problems in the practice of management work that have developed over many years; at the same time, striving to enable new management measures to stimulate the healthy development and reasonable application of the Internet.
2, Striving to clarify corresponding subjects’ relationship of rights and responsibilities. Striving to clarify the rights, duties and responsibilities of Internet information service providers, Internet access service providers, government management department as well as users and other subjects related to Internet information services. Encouraging Internet information service providers to launch self-discipline activities, encouraging public supervision of Internet information services.
3, Strengthening perspicacity and inclusion. As far as possible making principle-type regulations concerning related content, avoiding that the applicability of the law is restricted because of concrete concepts, reserving space of the future development and management of the Internet.
II, The main content of the revision
The opinion-seeking version has six chapters and 40 articles in total. The main content of the revision is as follows:
1, Clarifying licensing examination and approval for fora, microblogs, etc. Providing services on information published by Internet users for society directly involves national security and public security, and concerns the physical and mental health of citizens and security of their property, according to the provisions of administrative licensing law, administrative licenses shall be established. Accordingly, Article 10 of the opinion-seeking version has made provisions concerning licensing of fora, blogs, microblogs and other services. In order to strengthen the perspicacity of regulations, the opinion-seeking version outlines the abovementioned service models as “providing services for Internet users to publish information to society.”
2, Perfecting access conditions for running websites. Providing Internet information services is a sector involving national security and public security, and concerns citizens’ physical and mental health, life and asset security, requiring service providers to possess specific reputations and specific conditions. To this end, Article 7 of the opinion-seeking version has provided uniform basic access conditions for running websites.
3, Strengthening the security management responsibility of corresponding providers. Learning from a number of foreign Internet management methods, the opinion-seeking versions has provided for the responsibilities and duties that Internet information service providers and Internet access service providers shall bear in all segments: in advance of, during and after events, including public information inspection, lawful qualification examination, emergency management and having security guarding measures, etc., in order to even better reflect the spirit that whoever is hosting, is responsible, and unifying rights and responsibilities.
4, Strengthening the record preservation duty of corresponding service provides. In order to adapt to the requirements of attacking Internet lawbreaking and crime, the opinion-seeking version, with reference to other relevant State regulations, has made adjustments to the record preservation period relating to Internet access service providers and Internet information service providers in the existing Rules, and has clarified that “Internet information service providers shall record the published information and the information published by service counterparts, and preserve this for six months”; “Internet information service providers and Internet access providers shall record daily information, preserve it for 12 months, and provide technological support to inquiries by public security organs and national security organs according to the law.”
5, Provisions are made concerning information registry of users using their real identity. Since December last year, the five cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have launched trials of practicing microblog users’ real identity information registration work, which has had a vigorous function in attacking online lawbreaking and criminal activities, cleaning up the network environment, strengthening netizens’ sense of responsibility and promoting the construction of a sincere and honest society. On the basis of summarizing the experience of these trials, Article 15 of the opinion-seeking version provides that “Internet information service providers providing services for Internet users to publish information to society, shall require users to use real identity information registration, and has clarified the requirements concerning user real identity information registration for fora, blogs, microblogs and other interactive services.
6, Strengthening individual information protection. In order to prevent the individual information of netizens to be divulged or illegally used, and even better protect the security of individual information, the opinion-seeking version has strengthened the article of “Internet information service providers and Internet access service providers have the duty to keep users’ identity information, daily record information and other personal information secret, and may not sell, distort, wilfully divulge or illegally use users’ individual information”, and has made clear corresponding punitive measures for acts violating the above provision.
7, Standardizing government department supervision and inspection activities. In order to standardize government department activities and stimulate administration according to the law, the opinion-seeking version has made strict requirements concerning government department supervision and inspection activities, including: relevant departments shall make the Internet information service licensing and filing situation public, the masses have the right to consult relevant licensing and filing situations; when relevant department work personnel carry out supervision, inspection and law enforcement duties according to the law, there shall be at least two persons participating who have administrative law enforcement qualifications, and they shall actively display their law enforcement credentials; relevant department work personnel shall record the situation of supervision, inspection and law enforcement, and the processing result, the public has the right to consult supervision and inspection records; relevant departments shall establish information sharing and information communication systems, and shall establish public reporting systems, to accept reports from the masses according to the law, etc.