China: Proposed Cybersecurity Law Will Bolster Censorship

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Draft Law Requires Companies to Enforce Censorship and Aid Surveillance

Human Rights Watch
Date: August 4, 2015

(New York) – The Chinese government should scrap provisions in the proposed Cybersecurity Law that require Internet companies to practice censorship, register users’ real names, localize data, and aid government surveillance, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

The draft law will further stifle peaceful speech online, which is one of the only means people in China have to publicly express their opinions.

“While the Chinese government is known for its obsession with Internet control, the draft law sends a clear and chilling message of intent to further control online expression,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “The law will effectively put China’s Internet companies, and hundreds of millions of Internet users, under greater state control.”

Specifically, Human Rights Watch is concerned that the draft law will:

  •     Require companies to censor and restrict online anonymity;
  •     Require companies to store user data in China;
  •     Require companies to monitor and report to the government undefined “network security incidents,” raising fears of increased surveillance; and
  •     Have inadequate safeguards to protect privacy.



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