European Commerce Chamber worried by China’s anti-terror law

European Chamber of Commerce in China says it still has concerns on new anti-terror law despite positive developments

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An Weixing, the head of the Public Security Ministry's counter-terrorism division, speaks at a news conference after China's parliament passed a controversial new anti-terrorism law in Beijing, December 27, 2015

The European Chamber of Commerce in China still has concerns about China’s new anti-terror law despite the few changes made.

The controversial anti-terrorism law passed on Sunday allows the Chinese Army to get involved in operations overseas.

"The European Chamber recognises the positive developments in terms of removing the language that required the submission of encryption codes and server/data localisation from the final version," the European Chamber said in a statement.

However, the Chamber still has some concerns.

"Some concerns remain over issues such as market access, intellectual property rights, and the obligation to monitor, report and censor terrorist content," it said.

It also said the chamber called for "a thorough and timely public call for comments" on its implementation.

The draft law initially included technology firms to install “backdoor” and the companies to keep servers and user data within China, which are later removed from the law.

“Backdoor” is a method in computer system, often secret, which consists of bypassing normal authentication in products, cryptosystems or algorithm.

Chinese officials say their country faces a growing threat from militants and separatists, referring to the Xinjiang region where hundreds have died in the past few years.

The new law also restricts media to censor details of the army’s activities, which especially includes the region, nor show scenes that are "cruel and inhuman."

It caused deep concerns in Western countries over human rights violations such as freedom of speech and also because of cyber provisions.

US President Barack Obama raised his concerns to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the law, which was adopted in July requiring all key network infrastructure and information systems to be “secure and controllable.”

TRTWorld and agencies