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Blog Post 5 – China’s New Cyber Law

Last week, China implemented a new law that will have sweeping ramifications for cybersecurity both in China and worldwide. The law, slated to go into effect in June of 2017, requires internet and technology companies to surrender access to their data to the Chinese government in cases of suspected cybercrime. Additionally, the law makes cooperation with ongoing investigations mandatory. This law will not only effect Chinese companies, but also any foreign business activities that are conducted in China.
Some believe that this law is the Chinese government’s response to the news recently published by Wikileaks that the United States government is engaging in cyber espionage against many of its foreign allies (including China). (1)
Because another part of the law requires companies to store more of their data locally, American and European Tech companies have speculated that this will further increase China’s reliance on its own technological industry, as the increased burden and costs will likely hinder foreign technological development within the country. While normally tight-lipped about domestic policy (for fear of government reprisal), some Chinese tech companies, notably Alibaba and Tencent, have advocated against the new law, citing concerns with the inability to globalize. (2)
Conversely, the Chinese government seems optimistic about the new law. A recent article in The People’s Daily, China’s largest newspaper (and the official newspaper of the Communist Party), extolled the virtues of the law, noting the technological independence that it would bring. (3) Recently, China’s leaders have vocalized their opinion that the United States exerts too much control over the internet as a global entity. Accordingly, they have advocated for a transfer of control over many aspects of the internet’s core architecture to the U.N., via the International Telecommunication Union.

Jarod Garel

1 – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-07/china-passes-cybersecurity-law-despite-strong-foreign-opposition
2 – http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-internet-idUSKBN13C1OB
3 – http://www.voanews.com/a/china-internet-control/3600962.html