China passes controversial cyber law

by Steve Randall08 Nov 2016
China passes controversial cyber law
The Chinese government has passed its new cyber security law despite opposition from international businesses and human rights advocates.

The law, passed on Monday, contains several controversial elements which critics say will restrict foreign firms and shut off even more of the internet to Chinese citizens.

These include requiring data collected by “critical information infrastructure operators” to be stored within China’s borders. However, is does not clearly define which businesses fall into the category, which could be problematic for companies.

Human Rights Watch says that any cyber laws should protect freedom of expression and human rights while making internet networks more secure. It says that China’s law, which comes into effect in June 2017, is about surveillance, censorship and other controls.

“If online speech and privacy are a bellwether of Beijing’s attitude toward peaceful criticism, everyone – including netizens in China and major international corporations – is now at risk,” said HRW’s China Director Sophie Richardson. “This law’s passage means there are no protections for users against serious charges.”
 
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