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Censorship and surveillance to become even worse in China

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

10 January 2017

This week, the Chinese government passed a new set of regulations that will make the country’s problems with censorship and surveillance even more dramatic.

From June 1, the outflow of any data that could identify a Chinese citizen is to be restricted and censored by KILO, or Key Information Infrastructure Operators.

Internet Service Providers will, under these new regulations, be legally obliged to impose new security and data protection systems. Even website owners and admins would be forced to hand over the data of their users to the government.

Financial data will be included in the type of information restricted, as well any data that could help to pinpoint or identify someone, including name, address, birth dates and biometric information.

China’s 721 million internet users make up about 22% of the global internet-using population, and yet restriction on web access in China are famously strict. With foreign news sites and social media, and well as VPN services, mostly blocked, citizens are at a distinct disadvantage in terms of accessing outside information.

These new regulations will make it even more difficult for foreign companies to provide services in China, and, similarly, for Chinese citizens to use outside services.

For those whose privacy is already taken out of their hands, it’s another blow to their online agency.

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