China: Wi-Fi monitoring system in Beijing cafes and bars

According to Mingpao Daily, Beijing Police has issued a notice to all the cafes and bars which provide Wi-Fi access to their customers to install a RMB20,000 monitoring system. Upon installation, users have to register their ID in the counter before logging in the Wi-Fi network.
The notice was issued by the Beijing police around end of June, 2011 to cafe, bookstore, and bar which provide free Wi-Fi access to their customers. If they reject, they will no longer be allowed to provide free Wi-Fi service.

The system is called “non profit network security auditing system”, the installation fee varies from RMB 20,000 – 40,000 dollars. The system can monitor 100 customers at the same time and their browsing record would be kept in the system for 60 days. The “notice” states that for those which reject to install the system, they would be subject to a RMB15,000 fine. The police can also suspend their business license.

It is believed that the system would be adopted in other cities upon testing in Beijing. The Beijing East City District police told reporters that the system is to help the police to crack down criminal offense. However, Internet users find the monitoring system a violation of user privacy.


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