China has revealed new plans to increase government surveillance of its citizen's internet use.
The Chinese authorities have reportedly ordered all cafes, hotels and businesses in the central Beijing area to install new surveillance technology to monitor WiFi users. Company's that fail to install the new tech have been threatened with hefty fines, or even full closure.
The measures add to the country's already strong internet censorship and monitoring policy. The country already blocks all major private networks, making it easier for the government to keep track of what its citzens are looking at.
The new software costs about £1,900 and allows Chinese authorities to check the identities and sites visited by each individual user.
As yet it appears that only the Doncheng province of Beijing has seen businesses outright ordered to install the new tech. Though, speaking to the Guardian, a representative of the city's internet security unit did reportedly clarify that the new surveillance measures are a city-wide initiative -- the Police Headquarters itself is yet to confirm or deny this.
A report from the New York Times alleged that a report it had received from the district office had clarified that the new surveillance measures were intended to catch users involved in "conduct blackmail, traffic goods, gamble, propagate damaging information and spread computer viruses".
According to the Guardian, the new measures have already met with widespread disapproval from the city's populace.
It reported Leona Zhang, manager of the Contempio bar as commenting on the new laws:
"We have already felt the restriction on university campuses, since they have always been monitored. But this time, the control is stretching to cafes and people's feeling of violation is sharper. If cafes cancel their Wi-Fi I will care a lot, and I believe young people will react strongly."