Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 275

Posts Tagged ‘regulations’

China’s new Cybersecurity Law. Stricter regulations for companies, greater powers for the state

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 8 novembre 2016

pechinoDespite criticism from abroad, China has passed its controversial Cybersecurity Law. The new law will come into effect in June 2017 and gives the government broad powers to protect and control so-called critical information infrastructure. However, the law is vague and lacks detail on specific security measures. Foreign companies are concerned that they may have to share their source code with Chinese authorities. They also worry that data localisation requirements might increase the danger of industrial espionage and intellectual property violations.MERICS cybersecurity expert Nabil Alsabah explains what is at stake.
What is the Cybersecurity Law all about?
The Cybersecurity Law is the latest addition to a series of laws and regulations aimed at strengthening network security and tightening information control and censorship in China. The law introduces measures to ensure the protection of “critical information infrastructure” – such as energy and water supply – from hackers and cyber sabotage. It also confirms previous censorship rules in the name of “protecting political stability” and “national security”. The law gives the government the right to shut down the internet during crises, as it once did during the unrest in Xinjiang in 2009.In 2015 China passed a Counter-Terrorism Law which requires companies to provide access to the data of terror suspects. The National Security Law, also adopted last year, laid down the principle of “cyber sovereignty” — the notion that China can regulate “its” internet as it wishes. The Cybersecurity Law is part of this broader framework.
How does the cybersecurity law affect foreign companies doing business in China?
The law affects foreign companies that sell hardware and software solutions to China’s critical infrastructure operators. Those operators are in the future only allowed to purchase IT products that have passed a cybersecurity review, probably administered by the Cyberspace Administration of China. It is unclear whether foreign companies must reveal software source code during the review process.The new law classifies the following areas as critical: communication infrastructure, energy, transport, water supply, finance, public utilities and e-government services. The law also mentions unspecified areas that might affect “national security”, the “citizens’ well-being” or “public interest”. Such vague language could allow authorities to arbitrarily classify more and more areas as “critical”.The data localisation requirement is another challenge for foreign companies. The law stipulates that data, such as user data, collected by critical infrastructure operators must be stored within China’s borders. Foreign businesses are concerned that this requirement increases the risk of industrial espionage and intellectual property theft.
Foreign companies have criticized the draft law for months. Have their concerns been addressed?
The legislator did not compromise on the data localisation requirement or the cybersecurity review for IT products sold to critical infrastructure operators. These two issues were the biggest concerns for foreign companies. However, under certain circumstances companies may be exempted from the data localisation requirement. However, details are not clear.Showing strength can pay off too. Apple, for example, has successfully refused to share source code with the Chinese state – without any repercussions.Overall, the new law lacks transparency and creates uncertainty. Its precise effects remain to be seen and depend on implementation.

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Cohesion reform debate

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 13 aprile 2010

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is setting out its stall ahead of the debate on the future of EU cohesion policy: at their plenary session on 14-15 April, Europe’s regional and local representatives will adopt a report on the issue prepared by Michael Schneider (DE/EPP). The following week, an external COTER seminar in Jaén, Spain, will provide an opportunity to flesh out these requests. As EU politicians are discussing their strategic framework for the next decade (“Europe 2020”), the debate on the future of cohesion policy is expected to enter its crucial phase later this year with the publication of the European Commission’s 5th cohesion report. First drafts of the new structural funds regulations could then be presented in mid-2011.  To make sure that the voice of Europe’s regions and cities is heard at the very beginning of this discussion, the Committee of the Regions is preparing an outlook opinion on the future of EU cohesion policy after 2013. Over the past few months, Michael Schneider (DE/EPP), European Affairs State Secretary of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt and CoR rapporteur on the issue, has consulted widely with other CoR members, local and regional authorities from across Europe, their associations and other stakeholders. Schneider will present his draft opinion at the CoR plenary session on 14/15 April, in the presence of Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Regional Policy. By adopting this opinion, the Committee of the Regions will become the first EU body to formulate an official position on the future of cohesion policy.  In an interview, Michael Schneider makes the case for a strong cohesion policy at European level  in the future: “Given its target of the harmonious development of the European Union as a whole, economic, social and territorial cohesion forms a core element of the European integration model that was further strengthened by the Lisbon Treaty.”

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