China has passed legislation outlawing Internet rumor mongering. According to the law, people who post “defamatory comments” could be fined from 1,000 to 5,000 yuan (about $600) and face jail time. Distributing the comments is also outlawed and organizations like newspapers and websites could face fines of 3,000 to 15,000 yuan.
The law doesn’t affect the entire nation because it was passed in the Chongqing Municipality province in Southwest China. Other areas could craft similar laws, using the Chongqing one as an example setting precedent.