The Chinese “parliament” has just passed a law that requires technology companies to comply with government requests for information, including handing over encryption keys.
Using the concept of counter-terrorism, which is the same move touted by UK pig fancier David Cameron, the Chinese government’s hopes to curtail the activities of militants and political activists.
This latest move is one that will be viewed very suspiciously by foreign companies operating within China, or looking to do so.
While the government insists that there will be no requirement for companies to install backdoors, like prime minister Cameron wants the UK to, the country has already earned itself a reputation that is going to be very difficult to shake off.
The deputy head of the Chinese parliament’s criminal law division tried to play down the controversy surrounding the new law. Li Shouwei said:
“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.”
The new law also permits overseas action by the People’s Liberation Army — something which will be eyed with suspicion and likely opposed by for foreign nations.
There is also a provision that “media and social media cannot report on details of terror activities that might lead to imitation, nor show scenes that are ‘cruel and inhuman’ “– something else which will bring about an accusation of standing in the way of free speech.