China’s new security law seeks to make cyberspace more ‘controllable’
Wed 1 Jul 2015
China has today passed a new security legislation which looks to extend governmental powers over cyberspace, in reaction to what it referred to as a growing threat towards Chinese systems.
According to a text released in Beijing today, the new National Security Law seeks to “safeguard national security, defend the people’s democratic dictatorship and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.”
Regarding the country’s cyberspace, the bill looks to reinforce federal control over the country’s networks and calls for tougher mechanisms to deal with cyberattacks, theft of national secrets as well as the diffusion of any illegal or offensive materials.
It requires that all critical state infrastructure and information must be kept “secure and controllable” to be able to protect Chinese cyber sovereignty.
China has said repeatedly that it faces a constant onslaught of hacking attempts. The ruling Communist Party puts great effort into monitoring potentially harmful content online and blocks any webpage it deems illegal.
The Law was passed overwhelmingly by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and replaces an earlier draft from 1993 which vaguely outlined measures for counterintelligence.
President Xi Jinping has said that the national security legislation covers a wide range of sectors including social stability, culture, military, outer space, finance, economy, food safety, the environment and technology.
According to spokesperson Zheng Shu’na, the umbrella law will allow the government to tackle the “ever-growing security challenges.”
“Externally speaking, the country must defend its sovereignty, as well as security and development interests, and […] it must also maintain political security and social stability,” she told state-run news agency Xinhua.
The bill is expected to build upon China’s cybersecurity strategy, alongside current efforts such as the so-called Great Firewall, to safeguard “industries and key areas important to the national economy.”