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China Cyber Security Law Criticized by Global Industry Groups

China Cyber Security Law Criticized by Global Industry Groups
“Deep concerns” were expressed to the Chinese government about a new cyber security law which, according to analysts and industry experts, would likely increase the separation between China and the rest of the world economy. The concerns were more than 40 international business and technology organizations representing hundreds of companies and were reportedly communicated to the competent authorities in the Chinese government.
In order to effectively counter growing threats of hacking and terrorism, a cyber security law it called necessary for this was adopted by Beijing on Monday.
Overseas critics that included business and human rights groups were very swift to condemn the measure that is to take effect in June 2017. The critics claimed that the new law includes contentious requirements for security reviews and for data to be stored on servers in China and added that the law also threatens to shut foreign technology companies out of various sectors deemed "critical".
The anguishes were expressed despite the assurances from Chinese officials who have said that it would not interfere with foreign business interests.
The new law, while failing to achieve its security objectives, would "effectively erect trade barriers along national boundaries" with Beijing's efforts to control more of China's Internet and technology, the group has said in their letter.
The groups wrote in a letter addressed to the Chinese Communist Party Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs that the cyber security law would undermine "the foundation of China’s relations with its commercial partners” and also burden the industry.
Among others, the Australian Industry Group, BusinessEurope, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association are included in the letter’s signatories.
Chinese premier President Xi Jinping has embarked upon a crackdown on the civil society, including rights lawyers and the media. These measures have been severely criticized by critics who say these are meant to quash dissent and the law's adoption comes amid this broad crackdown.
He was “extremely troubled” by the new law, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, told Reuters.
The measure “could further infringe upon the privacy of its people and potentially have a widespread impact on the international business community,” said Gardner. He chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity.
Gardner said he would press the Obama administration to address Beijing’s broader actions in cyberspace, “which threaten U.S. economic and national security" and has voiced concern with Chinese officials about the law during a recent visit to the country.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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