China passes Internet censorship law2016-11-08 03:19 by Daniela
A new cybersecurity law in China will tighten political control over the internet. The legislation has been approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and is expected to enter force in June 2017.
Notably, the new rules demands that Internet firms cooperate with the state's criminal investigations and provide full access to data if officials suspect them of wrongdoing. The law also demands that companies demonstrate that their systems are capable of withstanding hacks. Individual users will have to register their real names to use messaging services in China. Also, they won't be allowed to use anonymizing software such as Tor to mask their identity online.
Chinese authorities claim the law aims to prevent crime and terrorism. However, while critics say it will further erode internet freedom.
"The new cyber-security law tightens the authorities' repressive grip on the internet," said Patrick Poon, a China researcher for Amnesty International, in a statement. "It goes further than ever before in codifying abusive practices, with a near total disregard for the rights to freedom of expression and privacy."
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