Will China’s cyber security law restrict online freedom?

China app for visually disabled people
The Chinese government on Monday passed a new cyber security law, as part of heightening Beijing’s control on the Internet.

Under the new law, the government will take measures to “monitor, defend and handle cybersecurity risks and threats originating from within the country or overseas sources, protecting key information infrastructure from attack, intrusion, disturbance and damage.”

It was passed by China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress(NPC) and takes effect from June 2017.

“Despite widespread international concern from corporations and rights advocates for more than a year, Chinese authorities pressed ahead with this restrictive law without making meaningful changes,” said Sophie Richardson, China Director. “The already heavily censored Internet in China needs more freedom, not less.”

“The law will effectively put China’s Internet companies, and hundreds of millions of Internet users, under greater state control,” she surmised.

The government explains that the law is designed to safeguard sovereignty on cyber space, national security and the rights of citizens.

But, global media calls this act as ‘controversial’, because it will give Beijing complete access to information regarding organisations operating in the world’s second largest economy.

Bloomberg news agency reported that the new law requires internet operators to cooperate with investigations involving crime and national security, and imposes mandatory testing and certification of computer equipment.

According to China’s Xinhua news agency report, the government will also take efforts to punish criminal activities online and safeguard the order and security of cyberspace.

Quotes from the provisions of the law also inform that individual users and organizations are not allowed to jeopardize security on the Internet or use it to “damage national security, honor and interests.

Critics argue that the law would eventually pave the way for foreign technology companies to pull out from China. Further, the stringent law insists companies to store their data on servers located in China to access and investigate easily when some crime happens.

In China, the government have all the right to shut down the Internet in the event of major security incidents. For the nation’s business community, such moves turn very expensive.

Since Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. spying, China has become more aggressive about its cyber security.

According to a Bloomberg report, the fear among foreign companies is that requirements to store data locally and employ only technology deemed “secure” means local firms gain yet another edge over foreign rivals from Microsoft Corp. to Cisco System Inc.

Chinatechnews.com reports that Chinese cloud service providers such as Aliyun and Huawei may benefit from this law.

Arya MM
[email protected]

Related News

Latest News

Latest News