Stricter Internet control with the new Chinese law on Cibersecurity

2017年1月25日

The new Chinese cybersecurity law going into effect next June will further increase the Chinese authorities’ control over internet, which many have interpreted as a backwards step in the country’s innovation, as this new legislation will push China towards technological isolation from the rest of the world.

In fact, the European Chamber of Commerce has already stated that it is “concerned that the new law will hinder foreign investment and business operating in and with China.”

Among other rigorous measures, the new cybersecurity law forces internet service providers to store all data they collect in Chinese territory within China, so that any information stored outside its borders must be previously approved by the government, under penalty of sanctions, including closing the business or revoking its license.

Likewise, the new law will require instant messaging services like Whatsapp and WeChat to force their users to register with their real names to be able to identify every user and, if necessary, censor content that is “forbidden” by the government. Beyond what is expressly included in the law, there is also the possibility that government agencies may issue new cybersecurity guidelines when they consider it necessary. Internet providers are also required to provide technical support and assistance to Chinese security and intelligence agencies in order to “safeguard national security and investigate crimes.”

We will follow up and report any news on this blog.

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