China orders telcos to grass up punters -

The Glorious People's Republic of China wants telcos and ISPs  to grass up clients who trade" secrets" and become an unofficial secret police

Apparently the Chinese want their networks black and white and red all over as a law to require telecommunications and internet companies to inform on customers who discuss state secrets is to be tightened.

It will force businesses to collaborate with the country's vast security apparatus that stifles political dissent.

Amendments to the Law on Guarding State Secrets submitted to China's top legislature for review willmean that telecoms operators and internet service providers help police and state security departments in investigations about leaks of state secrets.

"Information transmissions should be immediately stopped if they are found to contain state secrets," the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Xinhua added that once a state secret leak has been discovered, records should be kept and the finding reported to authorities.

In other words the ISPs and telcos will have to spy on their customers for the government.

While you might think that "state secrets" would cover things like military movements and codes to launch nuclear missiles, things are not that clear in China.

Anything can be a state secret and officials sometimes use the classification as a way to avoid disclosing information.

The new draft defines state secrets as: "information that concerns state security and interests and, if leaked, would damage state security and interests in the areas of politics, economy and national defence, among others," Xinhua said.

So if you happen to mention that you do not like a politician, or he is corrupt in an email to a mate, you are dealing in state secrets.

It is not clear where this will leave Microsoft which is trying to run its Bing search engine in the country.