[governance] Fwd: [Debate-List] China adopts new security law to make networks, systems 'controllable'

Michael Gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Fri Jul 10 11:30:41 EDT 2015

From: Jai Sen <jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> >
Date: 8 Jul 2015 20:45:23 GMT+2
To: Post WSFDiscuss <WorldSocialForum-Discuss at openspaceforum.net <mailto:WorldSocialForum-Discuss at openspaceforum.net> >, Post Crisis of Civilisation and Alternative Paradigms <crisis-de-civilizacion-y-paradigmas-alternativos at googlegroups.com <mailto:crisis-de-civilizacion-y-paradigmas-alternativos at googlegroups.com> >, Post PGA globalaction <globalaction at lists.riseup.net <mailto:globalaction at lists.riseup.net> >, Post Social Movements Riseup <social-movements at lists.riseup.net <mailto:social-movements at lists.riseup.net> >, Post Debate <Debate-list at fahamu.org <mailto:Debate-list at fahamu.org> >
Cc: Jai Sen <jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> >
Subject: [Debate-List] China adopts new security law to make networks, systems 'controllable'

Wednesday, July 8 2015

Worlds in movement, worlds of movement…

China in movement…., Freedoms in movement : 

[The empire in movement…. ?  But no state that considers itself powerful is today far behind… and each step one takes, encourages the next to take another one :

China adopts new security law to make networks, systems 'controllable'

BEIJING | By Michael Martina


China's legislature adopted a sweeping national security law on Wednesday that covers everything from territorial sovereignty to measures to tighten cyber security, a move likely to rile foreign businesses.

A core component of the law, passed by the standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), is to make all key network infrastructure and information systems "secure and controllable".

President Xi Jinping has said China's security covers areas including politics, culture, the military, the economy, technology and the environment. 

But foreign business groups and diplomats have argued that the law is vague and fear it could require that technology firms make products in China or use source code released to inspectors, forcing them to expose intellectual property.

Zheng Shuna, vice chairwoman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC standing committee, downplayed those concerns, saying China welcomes "all countries' businesses to operate in China and provide legitimate services according to law".

"We will continue to follow the path of peaceful development but we absolutely will not give up our legitimate rights and absolutely will not sacrifice the country's core interests," she said at a briefing.

The security of territorial seas and airspace is among those core interests, which, according to the legislation, China will take "all necessary measures" to safeguard. 

The law, which comes amid tensions with neighbors over disputes in the South China and East China Seas, passed through the NPC standing committee, the top body of China's rubber stamp parliament, by a vote of 154 to zero, with one abstention. 


The national security law is part of a raft of government legislation - including laws on anti-terrorism, cyber security and foreign non-government organizations - that have drawn criticism from foreign governments, business and civil society groups.

Those policies, many of which have cyber security components, have emerged after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed that U.S. spy agencies planted code in American tech exports to snoop on overseas targets.

"The fact that these different pieces of legislation are all moving forward in tandem indicates the seriousness of Beijing's commitment as well as the growing influence of hardliners shaping China's technology policy agenda," Samm Sacks, an analyst at U.S.-based consulting firm Eurasia Group, said in an emailed statement.

Critics have argued that the extensive nature of the law, which covers everything from China's deep sea and space assets to "harmful cultural influences", constitutes national security overreach.

Its passage also coincides with a crackdown on dissent, as the government has detained and jailed activists and blamed "foreign forces" for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year.

Hong Kong and Macau must "fulfill responsibilities to safeguard national security" according to the law, which also covers crimes of subversion and inciting rebellion. That reference could spark more fears of Beijing encroaching on Hong Kong's rule of law.

Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula, with the promise of a high degree of autonomy. Unlike on the mainland, Hong Kong does not have laws criminalizing subversion of the state. Macau, a former Portuguese colony, returned to China in 1999.

Some seven months after Hong Kong police forcibly cleared pro-democracy protesters from the streets, tens of thousands of people were expected to rally for free elections on Wednesday as the city marks the 18th anniversary of its return to China. 


(Additional reporting by Sui-Lee Wee <http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=suilee.wee&> ; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan <http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=raju.gopalakrishnan&>  and Nick Macfie <http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=nick.macfie&> )


China overreaches with new security law


Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jul. 08, 2015 3:00AM EDT 

Last updated Wednesday, Jul. 08, 2015 3:00AM EDT 


China’s new national security law, enacted last week by the National People’s Congress, the country’s parliament, is worrying on several levels, both because of what it says and because of what is left ambiguous.

To soothe local worries, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen, described the new law as little more than a “declaration of principles” that is “a blueprint for overall national security.” Similarly, one of his predecessors, Elsie Leung, called it “framework legislation.”

Indeed, the law is striking for its lack of specificity. But it is chilling in its sweep, potentially including every sphere of activity, foreign as well as domestic, within the realm of national security. It provides for a national security review mechanism that would cover all activities “that impact or might impact national security,” from foreign investment to Internet information technology.

The law identifies the interests of the Communist Party with those of the Chinese state. The first article asserts that the law is “to defend the people’s democratic dictatorship and the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics” before saying that it is also meant “to protect the fundamental interests of the people.”

“Socialism with Chinese characteristics” is the official ideology of the Communist Party. Thus, defending the party’s monopoly on power is defined as maintaining national security. That is to say, anyone supporting democracy is ipso facto guilty of undermining national security.

Since 2009, China’s diplomats have informed the world that the country’s core interests were headed by “upholding our basic system,” that is, maintaining the existence of the party-state. This was followed by sovereignty and territorial integrity and, lastly, economic and social development.

The new security law is consistent with this formulation. But such an approach can easily provide a pretext for a crackdown on domestic dissent as well as on “foreign interference.”

The new law warns “individuals and organizations” not to endanger national security or to provide any support or assistance to individuals or organizations endangering national security. By defining national security in broad and vague terms, the law is likely to cause unease to citizens and put psychological pressure on them to ask themselves if they should engage in social, cultural or other activities that may be even remotely interpreted as being illegal.

One example is religion. While paying lip service to upholding the principle of freedom of religion, the law threatens punishment of those who “conduct illegal and criminal activities” in the name of religion.

The law also seems to endow itself with extraterritorial jurisdiction. It defines China’s national interests as including the “peaceful exploration and use of outer space” as well as of international seabed areas and of both the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions; hence, protecting such interests are now part of upholding national security.

With global warming, interest in the Arctic and the riches of its seabed is increasing. China does not border the Arctic but calls itself a near-Arctic state, with rights and interests in the seabed.

The new law declares that China will take “necessary measures in accordance with law” to protect the security and the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens, organizations and institutions and also ensure that the country’s overseas interests “are not threatened or encroached upon.”

With China now involved in trade and diplomacy in every corner of the world, Chinese business people and tourists are active in virtually all countries, big or small. Last year, more than 100 million Chinese travelled abroad.



Jai Sen

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>  / jai at openword.in <mailto:jai at openword.in> 

www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net>  / http://www.openword.in

Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada (+1-613-282 2900)


Jai Sen, ed, 2013 – The Movements of Movements : Struggles for Other Worlds, Part I. Volume 4 Part I in the Challenging Empires series. New Delhi : OpenWord.  Prefinal version 1.0 available @ http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/the_movements_of_movements/


Jai Sen, ed, forthcoming (2015) – The Movements of Movements : Struggles for Other Worlds, Part 2. Volume 4 Part II in the Challenging Empires series.  New Delhi : OpenWord

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