Companies Required to Give Customer Data to Authorities in China’s New Cybersecurity Law

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Companies Required to Give Customer Data to Authorities in China’s New Cybersecurity Law

China has approved a controversial cybersecurity law that gave the government unprecedented access to technology worldwide. The law was green-lit as a national security measure but went too far, human rights groups said. It granted the government the ability to censor online content and restrict free speech.

Some parts of the bill drew more attention than others. For instance, computer equipment manufacturers will be required to undergo mandatory testing and certification of computers and computer parts. Internet companies will be required to store customer data and additionally need to fully cooperate with investigators.

Companies must report any suspected criminal activity to the proper authorities and give authorities full database access. Steep fines and penalties have been implemented for companies that violate these laws.

China’s efforts to protect national infrastructure, as Inside Counsel reported, resemble post-Snowden laws in several countries. The difference, however, is visible when comparing China’s law to those of other countries; the new Cybersecurity Law is incredibly vague and is potentially without a concrete scope. A limit to the powers the law grants may not exist.

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