After Chinese citizens bypassed censorship by storing documents on ethereum’s blockchain, China’s government has passed regulations that require the blockchain to be censorable.
“Chinese blockchain platforms will have to censor content, allow authorities access to stored data and check the identity of users under rules set out on Thursday by Beijing,” Reuters says.
The new regulations by the National Internet Information Office must be complied under the threat of, according to a rough translation:
“Corresponding penalties in accordance with these Provisions and relevant laws and administrative regulations; if they constitute a crime, they shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law.”
All suggesting they’re basically trying to apply China’s firewall and strict censorship to blockchain technology which can be used as a media platform in exceptional circumstances where the relatively high costs of storage are worth it.
They say the “Provisions” propose that blockchain information service providers should take disposal measures in cases where there are “activities prohibited by laws and administrative regulations or produce, copy, publish, and disseminate information content prohibited by laws and administrative regulations; users of blockchain information services that violate laws, administrative regulations, and service agreements shall comply with the law.”
They consider a node as being responsible for taking such measures, stating “the blockchain information service provider referred to in these Provisions refers to the entity or node that provides the blockchain information service to the public, and the organization or organization that provides technical support for the blockchain information service.”
It is not clear what this means in practice, however, because one node can’t quite change the information contained in the blockchain. All 8,000 ethereum nodes across the globe would instead have to co-ordinate. Even then, the changed information doesn’t quite disappear. It just creates a parallel universe. Like in ETC the Slockit DAO hack happened while in ETH it kind of didn’t.
Suggesting this is perhaps more of yet another tool in their regulatory arsenal to be selectively used as they please against whoever they might not like in that continuing authoritarian Chinese fashion.