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Further complicating matters is the fact that the Cybersecurity Law was passed in the wake of two other significant laws: the National Security Law and the Anti-Terrorism Law.
These three laws operate in tandem to regulate many aspects of cybersecurity and privacy law in China, while potentially giving the Chinese government broader surveillance powers.
Naturally, questions remain: what types of services could damage national security or the public interest if rendered non-operational?
What qualifies as “damaging” to national security or the public interest?
Does the Cybersecurity Law require my company to keep certain data in China?
As we’ve written about in previous posts, data localization laws are a global trend, and they generally require companies that collect certain types of data from a jurisdiction to store and/or process data within that jurisdiction.
Like the United States – and unlike an increasing number of countries around the world – China does not have an omnibus data protection law.In short, China’s new Cybersecurity Law adds an additional wrinkle to an already complex matrix of data protection laws and regulations, at least some of which are ostensibly meant to defend against threats (real or imagined) to China’s sovereignty. Is it an omnibus law like the EU Data Privacy Directive? The Chinese legislature passed the new Cybersecurity Law in November of last year after public consultation on several previous drafts of the legislation, although the law does not actually go into effect until June 1, 2017.Recently, on April 11, the government released the Draft Security Assessment Measures for Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information and Important Data, which is intended to be a major set of implementation rules of the Cybersecurity Law (“the “Draft Implementation Rules”).The Cybersecurity Law defines “network operators” broadly – the category includes network owners, administrators, and service providers.The law therefore suggests that any company that maintains a computer network, even within its own office, could qualify as a “network operator” – an interpretation expansive enough to include a large number of companies.
Generally speaking, the vaguely-worded National Security Law, which has been called out by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for its “extraordinarily broad scope,” permits the government to take “all necessary” steps to guard China’s sovereignty (including, it is speculated, by implementing wide-ranging surveillance measures).