China issues rules for cyberspace

China’S top Internet regulator released a security strategy for cyberspace yesterday, advocating peace, security, openness, cooperation and order.

The government will guarantee cyberspace sovereignty and national security, protect information infrastructure and act against cyber terror and crimes, according to the 15-page strategy released by the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Rules and their imposition will be improved and international cooperation expanded, it says.

“Cyberspace sovereignty is an important part of state sovereignty,” it adds.

All countries should be respected in their Internet development and management, playing equal parts in a cyberspace governance without hegemony or double standards, according to the strategy.

It says that China will use whatever means necessary — scientific, technological, legal, diplomatic or military — to ensure cyberspace sovereignty and no attempt to use the Internet to undermine or overturn China’s national government or sabotage sovereignty will be tolerated.

China is home to the world’s largest online population. About 700 million of its citizens use the Internet to study, make purchases, work and access public services.

In this context, protecting critical information infrastructure and important data is crucial, the strategy says.

Service producers and other organizations will not be allowed to take advantage of privileged information or technology to compete unfairly or harm users’ interests.

“This does not mean that we will refuse foreign products or services,” said Zhao Zeliang, director of the CAC cybersecurity coordination bureau.

“Our requirements of security and controllability are not meant to raise barriers to foreign enterprises,” he told a press conference at the release of the strategy.

China will participate in dialogue and exchanges in cybersecurity; help establish international norms and antiterror pacts; and improve judicial collaboration. International cooperation will be enshrined in policy, law, technology, standards, emergency response and security infrastructure.

Assistance will be given to developing countries. Lu Jianwen, in charge of cybersecurity at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said priority will be given to building Africa’s information highway.

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