Posted On 2015/07/10 By In News, Internet, Media, Mobile, Social Media With 445 Views

China’s new Cybersecurity Law sparks Censorship Concerns

The ruling Communist Party oversees a vast censorship system—dubbed the Great Firewall—that aggressively blocks sites or snuffs out Internet content and commentary on topics considered sensitive, such as Beijing’s human rights record and criticism of the government.

The proposed legislation will “ensure network security, (and) safeguard the sovereignty of cyberspace and national security,” according to the draft law, which was posted Monday on the website of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the rubber-stamp parliament, but reported by state media Wednesday.

Netizens could not “disturb the social order, (and) harm the public interest,” the proposals said.

Ever-tighter limits on rights have been rolled out since President Xi Jinping came to power, and China recently launched a national security law which expands its legal reach over the Internet and even outer space.

That legislation drew a wave of criticism from rights groups and businesses, and the draft cybersecurity law is also causing concern.

“We have some concerns that it will take a lot of the censorship practices that are currently being used but are not formalised, and codify them into law,” William Nee, China researcher for UK-based Amnesty International, told AFP. “It will definitely mean more censorship and probably increase penalties for people who say things that the Chinese government doesn’t like,” added Nee, who is based in Hong Kong.

Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said his organisation was still reviewing the draft.

“But I am worried,” he added. “The chief concern is that, as with many Chinese laws, the language is vague enough to make it unclear how the law will be enforced.”

Authorities in 2013 launched a wide-ranging crackdown on the Internet, targeting activists and focusing on what it claimed were “Internet rumours”.

Hundreds of Chinese bloggers and journalists were arrested as part of the campaign to assert greater control over social media, which has seen influential critics of Beijing paraded on state television.

Under regulations announced at the time, Chinese Internet users face three years in prison for writing defamatory messages that are re-posted 500 times or more. Web users can also be jailed if offending posts are viewed more than 5,000 times.


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Sources:

Article: PHYS / Image: Scorpions and Centaurs

The ruling Communist Party oversees a vast censorship system—dubbed the Great Firewall—that aggressively blocks sites or snuffs out Internet content and commentary on topics considered sensitive, such as Beijing's human rights record and criticism of the government. The proposed legislation will "ensure network security, (and) safeguard the sovereignty of cyberspace and national security," according to the draft law, which was posted Monday on the website of the National People's Congress (NPC), the rubber-stamp parliament, but reported by state media Wednesday. Netizens could not "disturb the social order, (and) harm the public interest," the proposals said. Ever-tighter limits on rights have been rolled out since President Xi Jinping came to power, and China recently launched a national security law which expands its legal reach over the Internet and even outer space. That legislation drew a wave of criticism from rights groups and businesses, and the draft cybersecurity law is also causing concern. "We have some concerns that it will take a lot of the censorship practices that are currently being used but are not formalised, and codify them into law," William Nee, China researcher for UK-based Amnesty International, told AFP. "It will definitely mean more censorship and probably increase penalties for people who say things that the Chinese government doesn't like," added Nee, who is based in Hong Kong. Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said his organisation was still reviewing the draft. "But I am worried," he added. "The chief concern is that, as with many Chinese laws, the language is vague enough to make it unclear how the law will be enforced." Authorities in 2013 launched a wide-ranging crackdown on the Internet, targeting activists and focusing on what it claimed were "Internet rumours". Hundreds of Chinese bloggers and journalists were arrested as part of the campaign to assert greater control over social media, which has seen influential critics of Beijing paraded on state television. Under regulations announced at the time, Chinese Internet users face three years in prison for writing defamatory messages that are re-posted 500 times or more. Web users can also be jailed if offending posts are viewed more than 5,000 times. Learn more in our Global Ready China Seminars Sources: Article: PHYS / Image: Scorpions and Centaurs

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About

Stefan

Stefan (from Austria, Europe) has been living, studying and working in China since 2010. Stefan has worked on several research, publication and consulting projects focusing on the China Travel Market. He holds two Masters degrees and is an expert on China Outbound Tourism, Marketing and Social Media in China. Stefan works with BMG on the Global Ready China Seminars as well as the Global Ready China News and related projects. He also has teaching engagements in the areas of eMarketing and Tourism Strategy.

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