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China adopts new cybersecurity law

The Shanghaiist coverage of China’s new cyber security law:

In yet another move to crack down on anti-government sentiment in society, the Standing Committee of China’s top legislature passed a revised cybersecurity law on Monday that has once again generated controversy worldwide.

The third and final draft of this law emerged at end of the latest session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee in Beijing. In a country that is already infamous for its internet control, the law will add further restrictions to personal internet use, increase the government’s internet monitoring power, and directly affect business, service, and education sectors.

Perhaps most significantly, the law will require “critical information infrastructure operators” to store users’ “personal information and other important business data” that is related to the firm’s operations in China. The law is vague about what qualifies as “critical information infrastructure” and “important business data” meaning that it could potentially require numerous international companies to store their data on servers within Chinese borders, granting Beijing unprecedented, easy access to that information.

In August, after reviewing an earlier draft of the regulation, 46 global business groups penned a joint-letter to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urging Beijing to revise the controversial law. Instead, the final version of the law makes a few changes, but remains inherently the same as before. “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 Human Rights Watch (HRW) China director Sophie Richardson.

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