China passes its first Anti-Terrorism law

Pierluigi Paganini December 29, 2015

China passed it first controversial Anti-Terrorism law that requires technology firms to help decrypt information and much more.

China Passes its first Anti-Terrorism law that will have a serious impact on all those companies that want to operate in the country.

The Anti-Terrorism law establishes that Operators of telecommunications and Internet services operating in China have to “offer technological assistance and cooperation with security departments to help prevent and investigate terrorist activities,” meanwhile financial organizations should immediately freeze relevant deposits and accounts belonging to suspects of terrorism.

Chinese controversial new anti-terrorism law requires tech companies to help the law enforcement and intelligence agencies to decrypt information or hand over encryption keys to officials when the Government needs to spy on suspects.

This implies that the Chinese government is requesting companies to provide encryption keys for the services they are offering, but the law wouldn’t require technology firms to install a “backdoor” in their products. A draft of the Anti-Terrorism law previously disclosed called for mandatory backdoor in the product and services of companies operating in China.

Anti-Terrorism law china

Chinese authorities defend the Anti-Terrorism law by saying that the Government og Beijing is simply doing what other Western nations already do to fight terror.

“This rule accords with the actual work need of fighting terrorism and is basically the same as what other major countries in the world do,” Li Shouwei, deputy head of the Chinese parliament’s criminal law division, told Reuters.

“Providers of telecommunications, Internet, finance, accommodation and passenger transport services should also check the identity of clients,” the law also states, effectively killing off online anonymity.

Someone compared the new Chinese Anti-Terrorism law to the US CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act), which also requests ISPs to support the US authorities in investigating on suspects.

The Anti-Terrorism law also limits the liberties of media to “disseminate information on forged terrorist incidents, report on or disseminate details of terrorist activities that might lead to imitation, nor publish scenes of cruelty or inhumanity about terrorist activities.”

The Chinese Government is committing itself in respecting human rights.

Anyway, the most worrying aspect of the law is that it allows agents of the People’s Liberation Army to persecute terror suspects also overseas … what does it really imply?

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Anti-Terrorism law, China)

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