China may be moving closer to making its proposed – and seemingly controversial – cybersecurity law a reality, Reuters reported on Monday (June 27).
The Chinese parliament read the draft of the new rules for a second time, which includes increased consequences for both foreign and domestic businesses when it comes to cybersecurity, as well as a threat of the country implementing greater censorship.
According to official news agency Xinhua, the draft of the controversial cybersecurity law was presented to the standing committee of the National People's Congress and will require that businesses adhere to the country’s social morals and accepted both government and public supervision.
The draft is also said to emphasize that the personal data of Chinese citizens as well as any business data deemed “important,” must be stored domestically. If a company wishes to make any of the data available outside of China, it must comply to a government security evaluation.
Reports of the new cybersecurity law began circulating last year when the draft was first released for comments.
“The Chinese have gotten increasingly worried that they do not have the right kind of regulations, protections and responses in place,” Adam Segal, a China and cybersecurity scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, told WSJ in July 2015. “There is a real sense that there needed to be some type of regulatory response to potential attacks.”
However, many of the country’s previous attempts at enacting cybersecurity-related measures, such as guidelines for secure banking technology, have drawn criticism and protests from foreign technology and business groups, WSJ reported.
The law permits Chinese authorities to cut off internet access during any public-security emergencies and also allows agencies to implement cybersecurity monitoring and alert systems, as well as emergency response measures.