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China mulls further tightening of grip on cyberspace
[Thursday, February 09, 2017 17:54]
By Tenzin Monlam

DHARAMSHALA, FEB 9: China’s top agency of Internet censorship has issued a new draft regulation to define ‘cybersecurity review’ proposing further tightening of controls over the cyberspace by establishing new inter-departmental commission to scrutinize internet services and hardware.

The Cyberspace Administration of China on Saturday (Feb 4) issued a new draft regulation to strengthen online security. According to the draft, the commission would assess whether servers or Internet service could be hijacked by an outsider and if the privacy of users compromised.

The new regulation would include security reviews and inspections to ensure that data is stored on servers in China and the new inter-departmental agent would be at point to ensure its application nationwide. It would also advise Communist party and government departments from buying uninspected products online.

Seen as a roadblock for new internet-based companies and foreign competitions, critics say with controversial demands for security reviews and data to be stored on servers in China, the new rules pressurizes foreign firms to lose ground on various critical sectors.

Zuo Xiaodong, VP of the China Information Security Research Institute and an adviser on Internet policies told Sunday China Morning Post that the new draft is aimed at major information sector and the general users won’t be affected.

“Key information infrastructure include operation systems of key offices of the state and the party,” he said.

The newly proposed rules are open for a period of one month to receive public comment till March 4.

China first Cybersecurity law passed in November last year, which would come into effect in June this year, was met with serious concerns from various rights groups and foreign firms.

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