China’s Xi says country will not close door to global Internet

China's President Xi Jinping has said the country will not close its door to the global Internet. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 03 December 2017
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China’s Xi says country will not close door to global Internet

WUZHEN, China: Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday the country will not close its door to the global Internet, but that cyber sovereignty is key in its vision of Internet development.
Xi’s comments were read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s publicity department at the country’s largest public cyber policy forum in the town of Wuzhen in eastern China.
“The development of China’s cyberspace is entering a fast lane...China’s doors will only become more and more open,” said Xi in the note.
Cyber sovereignty is the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own Internet without external interference.
China’s Communist Party has tightened cyber regulation in the past year, formalising new rules that require firms to store data locally and censor tools that allow users to subvert the Great Firewall.
In June, China introduced a new national cybersecurity law that requires foreign firms to store data locally and submit to data surveillance measures.
Cyber regulators say the laws are in line with international rules, and that they are designed to protect personal privacy and counter attacks on core infrastructure. Business groups say the rules unfairly target foreign firms.
China has advocated strongly for a larger role in global Internet governance under Xi.
“China stands ready to develop new rules and systems of Internet governance to serve all parties and counteract current imbalances,” said Wang Huning, a member of the Communist Party standing committee at the event on Sunday.
The conference, which is overseen by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) invited foreign executives, Apple Inc’s CEO Tim Cook and Google Inc. chief Sundar Pichai as well as a Facebook Inc. executive.
Google and Facebook are banned in China, along with Twitter Inc. and most major western news outlets.
Top executives from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. also attended the forum.


Vietnam says controversial cybersecurity law aims to protect online rights

Updated 19 July 2018
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Vietnam says controversial cybersecurity law aims to protect online rights

HANOI: Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law is designed to protect online rights and create a “safe and healthy cyberspace,” the foreign ministry said on Thursday, although critics have warned it gives the Communist-ruled state more power to crack down on dissent.
Seventeen US lawmakers wrote to the chief executives of Facebook and Google on Wednesday, urging them to resist changes wrought by the new law that require foreign tech firms to store locally personal data on users in Vietnam and open offices there.
“As in any other country, the activities of foreign businesses and investors should comply with the laws of the host country,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told Reuters in a comment on Wednesday’s letter.
“The ratification of the cybersecurity law is aimed at creating a safe and healthy cyberspace,” Hang said in a written statement in response to a request for comment.
That would protect the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals online, and ensure national security as well as social order and safety, she added.
Despite sweeping economic reforms and growing openness to social change, Vietnam’s Communist Party tolerates little dissent.
Global technology firms have pushed back against the requirement to store user data locally, but have not taken the same tough stance on the parts of the law that bolster the government’s crackdown on online political activism.
In particular, the new law gives more direct control over online censorship to the Ministry of Public Security, which is tasked with crushing dissent.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hang did not directly address those accusations, as outlined in Wednesday’s letter from US lawmakers, but said freedom of speech was a right enshrined in Vietnamese law.
“The state of Vietnam always respects and facilitates the rights of its citizens to exercise freedom and democracy but is resolutely against the abuse of those rights to commit illegal activities,” Hang added.
Approved by Vietnamese legislators last month, the law takes effect on January 1 next year.