China looks to crack down on cyberterrorism with new laws

29 May 2017

Dragon statue in Iron Pagoda Park in Chengdu, China. Image: RPBaiao/Shutterstock

Countries all over the world are threatened by cyberattacks, though few can control their internet as much as China, with the global giant now taking action.

Attempts in China to protect its state interests in the event of cyberattacks are a bit more tangible than those of other states, with strict new laws to come into force this week.

On Thursday (1 June), new rules will mandate strict data surveillance and storage for firms working in the country.

The law was passed in November, taking in six months of corporate criticism before coming into effect this week.

Under the new legislation, online service providers are banned from collecting and selling users’ personal information, while users will get the right to have their information deleted, in cases of abuse, according to a state news agency.

“Those who violate the provisions and infringe on personal information will face hefty fines,” it said.

Indeed, China’s attitude to the internet is developing by the day.

Earlier this month, President Xi Jinping’s attempts to gain more and more control over what is presented online took a new twist.

Under more regulation changes, for example, the Cyberspace Administration of China recently announced the extension of current news restrictions to include the need for all services to be managed by party-sanctioned editorial staff.

This follows recent revelations that the Chinese government is hard at work building its own rival to Wikipedia.

For this, China will not source information from the general public, but through a select number of scholars from some of the country’s top universities.

The Encyclopaedia of China project will require a lot of human power. It is believed that 20,000 people have been hired to work on it, with the goal of creating 300,000 entries of around 1,000 words each.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic