The National People’s Congress (NPC) published its draft cyber security law on July 6.
The draft law aims “to ensure network security and safeguard the sovereignty of cyberspace and national security,” according to the NPC’s official website. It will further ensure Chinese Internet users aren’t “allowed to disturb the social order, and harm the public interest.”
In an editorial, The People’s Daily said the draft is intended to create a sense of public order and maintain “cyberspace sovereignty.”
The proposal, released for public opinion on July 13, also provides that the Chinese government can sever Internet access in any location or nationwide during “sudden and mass incidents.”
Public opinion will be collected through August, the NPC said. It is attempting to position the law as a way to guarantee privacy and protection from hackers to casual Internet users.
“The 68-article draft cyber security law, which was discussed by lawmakers for the first time late last month, is designed to protect the public, not to undermine their freedom, as Western media claimed,” congress delegates told Xinhua News Agency.
Technology experts said the new law threatens to disrupt business and stifle innovation in the tech sector.
Some said the annual audits and demands to give the government oversight over all source code would slow down technology research and decrease direct investment from foreign venture capitalists.