Daily Management Review

New Controversial Counter Terrorism Law Passed in China


New Controversial Counter Terrorism Law Passed in China
While letting go for the requirement of technology firms to install security "backdoors" as initially planned, the new Chinese new anti-terrorism law allows the military to venture overseas on counter-terror operations. It also requires technology firms to help decrypt information for the security agencies.
China faces a growing threat from militants and separatists, especially in its unruly Western region of Xinjiang, where hundreds have died in violence in the past few years according to the country‚Äôs officials.  
The cyber provisions in the new law has attracted deep concern in Western capitals apart from the worries that the law could violate human rights such as freedom of speech.
U.S. President Barack Obama has said that he had raised concerns about the law directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Technology companies will still have to provide help with sensitive encryption information if law enforcement authorities demand it even as a provision in an initial draft that would require companies to keep servers and user data within China was removed from the final law.
Li Shouwei, deputy head of the parliament's criminal law division under the legislative affairs committee said China was simply doing what other Western nations already do in asking technology firms to help fight terror while speaking after China's largely rubber-stamp parliament passed the law.
"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 told reporters.
He however tried to assure the tech companies that this will not affect the normal operation of tech companies and they have nothing to fear in terms of having "backdoors" installed or losing intellectual property rights.
The installing of security "backdoors" was also initially mooted by China for the law.
Officials in Washington have argued the law amounts to unfair regulatory pressure targeting foreign companies when combined with new draft banking and insurance rules and a slew of anti-trust investigations.
All key network infrastructure and information systems to be "secure and controllable" as required by China's national security law adopted in July.
While experts claim that there are big practical and diplomatic problems, the new anti-terrorism law also allows the People's Liberation Army to get involved in anti-terrorism operations overseas where it perceives a threat exists.
China faced a serious threat from terrorists, especially "East Turkestan" forces, China's general term for Islamists separatists it says operate in Xinjiang, said An Weixing, head of the Public Security Ministry's counter-terrorism division.
"Terrorism is the public enemy of mankind, and the Chinese government will oppose all forms of terrorism," An said.
The unrest in Xinjiang mostly stems from anger among the region's Muslim Uighur people over restrictions on their religion and culture say rights groups and express doubts about the existence of a cohesive militant group in Xinjiang.
The media, including the social media, would be also restricted from reporting details of terror activities that might lead to imitation, nor show scenes that are "cruel and inhuman", according to the new law as it seeks to restricts the right of media to report on details of terror attacks.