Controversial cyber-security law about to be passed in China

News by Roi Perez

The law could offer sweeping internet censorship powers to the government.

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A controversial Chinese cyber-security law has neared approval on Monday as the Chinese parliament held the third reading of the draft bill.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said parliament had taken on board the views of its standing committee and other parties, and it is now proposing passing the third and typically final reading of the law, at its meeting on Monday to 7 November.

In its form during the second reading of the law, it was seen to be affording sweeping powers for government and Chinese law enforcement, ranging from widespread censorship to heightened control over certain technologies.

As made well known by the Great Firewall of China, the country enforces widespread controls over the internet that it is now looking to ratify in law.

The new cyber-security law has been met with a slew of opposition from foreign business lobbies and governments, which has it branded as intrusive, over-reaching and draconian, and discriminates against foreign companies.

Critics are particularly concerned about the requirement that would see companies which store data locally in China to provide encryption keys to the government.

Technology firms are worried that could infringe on people's privacy rights and might put their personal intellectual property in the hands of the government to ensure security.

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