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China’s strict cybersecurity laws took effect today; potentially impacting foreign businesses

Author: Jonathan Shieber / Source: TechCrunch

The rigorous new Chinese cybersecurity laws which we wrote about last November took effect today.

They’re designed to give China’s central government more direct control over the operations of internet-based companies operating in the country.

As we wrote last November:

The regulation would require instant messaging services and other internet companies to require users to register with their real names and personal information, and to censor content that is “prohibited.” Real name policies restrict anonymity and can encourage self-censorship for online communication.

The law also includes a requirement for data localization, which would force “critical information infrastructure operators” to store data within China’s borders. According to Human Rights Watch, an advocacy organization that is opposing the legislation, the law does not include a clear definition of infrastructure operators, and many businesses could be lumped into the definition.

The official word from Beijing’s state news agency, Xinhua, is that the law is an attempt to battle increasing threats from cyber-terrorism and hacking.

But it will also have a chilling effect on foreign businesses…

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