China Bans Anonymous Mobile Phone Purchases

In a move that follows that of many like-minded European and Asian countries, China has introduced regulations that require an ID to purchase a mobile phone. What's causing concern in this case - at least more so than some others - is China's history of censorship.

Human rights advocates, for instance, are concerned that the government might use the information gleaned to monitor protesters, dissidents or other persons of interest. From the government's point of view, it's also a chance to crack down on spam - a problem that reaches unique proportions in a country with 800 million active mobile phone numbers. [SF Gate via BoingBoing]