China mulls privacy protection, further curbs on Internet

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have proposed a sweeping Internet security law that would strengthen protection of private information but also allow authorities to restrict Internet access to maintain public order.

China's National People's Congress, the country's highest legislative body, released the text of the proposed law on Wednesday. It said a legislative panel gave the proposal its first reading in June and that it is seeking public comment until Aug. 5.

China already has some of the most restrictive Internet controls. The government also espouses the concept of Internet sovereignty, treating its portion of cyberspace as its territory.

The draft says Internet operators are obligated to protect users' personal information and not disseminate harmful information. It says access to the Internet can be restricted when there is a threat to public security.