China adopts cyber security law in face of overseas opposition; forces Apple to keep data on local servers

“China adopted a controversial cyber security law on Monday to counter what Beijing says are growing threats such as hacking and terrorism, but the law triggered concerns among foreign business and rights groups,” Sue-Lin Wong and Michael Martina report for Reuters.

“The legislation, passed by China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament and set to take effect in June 2017, is an ‘objective need’ of China as a major internet power, a parliament official said,” Wong and Martina report. “Overseas critics of the law say it threatens to shut foreign technology companies out of various sectors deemed ‘critical,’ and includes contentious requirements for security reviews and for data to be stored on servers in China.”

“Rights advocates also say the law will enhance restrictions on China’s Internet, already subject to the world’s most sophisticated online censorship mechanism, known outside China as the Great Firewall,” Wong and Martina report. “James Zimmerman, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, called the provisions ‘vague, ambiguous, and subject to broad interpretation by regulatory authorities.’ Human Rights Watch said elements of the law, such as criminalizing the use of the Internet to ‘damage national unity,’ would further restrict online freedom.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple wants to do business in China, they’ll have to kowtow to Chinese government demands. Apple has far, far too much invested (in capital and future hopes) to eschew China. The best course of action is to continue to doing business and work from the inside out to bolster human rights, increase wages, improve the environment and labor conditions, and bring some measure of personal privacy to the country.

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      1. Right… because pragmatism worked so well for American businesses back when the soviets took over Russia and later when the Nazis came to power.

        Not that I think pie-in-the-sky, kumbaya platitudes work, but in the long term it’s best just to not participate in something that’s only going to bite you in the ass later.

        Besides, you’re just aiding enemies.

    1. Local laws take precedence over privacy issues. In FBI case also, Apple pushed for congressional decision to clarify the legality of the issue. Apple was not acting against US laws, it was against FBI dictating issues, which went as far as asking Apple to create a master key.

    1. Actually, Apple should be in favour of that. As it makes their products more trustable by locals, and make the data that Apple tried to guard from USA’s security services physically safer as they would not be able to interrupt Apple’s business in China or in Russia just because there would be, for example, a court order to physically seize a part of server infrastructure/storage as evidence or due to any other issue.

      Simultaneously, Apple’s own protections over integrity of data, stored in China, Russia, et cetera, are as hard as elsewhere, so the date would be safe from Chinese, Russian, etc security services, too.

      The only thing I wish Apple did would be providing an option of users to decline the possibility of password recovering that would make Apple able to get rid of their own key to the data, thus rendering any access to the data, not authorised by user, practically impossible.

  1. If the Chinese get the iPhone code it’s all over with security. The Chinese will hack every iPhone, unless they write a code just for them. Then every government will want the same thing. There is no wining solution except get out of the Chinese market.

  2. It is up to the populace in question to identify tyranny and to free itself of it. Freedom is like a soothing drink that makes you thirsty . .. . . in other words, when the benefits of technology provide a refreshing taste, eventually the will for more will win out. Might be in my lifetime, might not be. But Apple is just one of many players in a market like that which will have to play by “local rules” to play at all. Whether we like it or not, it’s a critical market both in consumption and as a supplier. As an American, my job is to pay attention to the overreaches of power and attacks to privacy that would taint life in my own country. And if we do that, it can do what democracy has always done — be a template for other people in the world to follow. Apple is fighting that good fight on American soil, and I will judge their intentions, be they philosophical, righteous or pragmatic, on what they accomplish in their own back yard over the coming years. China will either figure it out or it won’t, and I wish the people there well in doing so.

  3. “… continue to doing business and work from the inside out to bolster human rights, increase wages, improve the environment and labor conditions, and bring some measure of personal privacy to the country.”

    Yes Apple, and every other American company doing business in China, please help to increase the power and wealth of a country that wants to dominate us and the rest of the world. Great strategy MDN.

  4. Look how quick these liberals accept government control of their lives.

    Before Asante was a villain to the Left for exposing the crimes and hypocrisy of Hillary, he was a hero for exposing Bush’s actions.

    My, you commies are so…fickle – and schizophrenic!

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