In a further push toward absolute control and censorship of online activities, Chinese parliament held a second reading of draft rules for a potential and controversial new cybersecurity law Monday.
The Chinese government’s dominance over its citizens has much to do with its stringent control of media outlets; from going through people’s personal emails and messages to what is broadcast on television and printed in newspapers.
A large aspect of this dominance is to control the Internet, which China has long sought to codify into law. Now they are one step closer in achieving this frightening goal.
The law’s draft was presented before the standing committee of the National People’s Congress and details requirements that network operators adhere to social morals, as well as accept the supervision of the government and public, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The first draft of the cybersecurity law, published almost a year ago, aimed to tighten user privacy protection from hackers and data resellers. Also tucked into that proposed draft was to heighten government power to be able to both access and block any circulation of private information records of which China’s leaders deem illegal.
This second draft adds to these stipulations, saying that Chinese citizens’ personal data, as well as “important business information” must be stored domestically and that those who wish to provide that information overseas face government security evaluation, Fortune Magazine reports.
If adopted, this law carries with it serious consequences to not only China’s own people but to companies and nations across the globe that do business with China.
In fact, China’s strict cybersecurity policies has been a sensitive and contentious topic for China’s economic partners abroad. Those partners, including the European Union and the United States, view China’s regulations as truly unfair to foreign businesses.
For instance: the companies Facebook and Google, widespread throughout the world (never mind popular and successful), are blocked from the Internet in China. Chinese authorities, however, claim that restrictions such as the aforementioned are “needed to ensure security against growing threats, such as terrorism.”
Parliament has not yet published the second draft in its entirety and it is still unclear when this new cybersecurity law may be passed.