Full Text: The Internet in China
GOV.cn Tuesday, June 8, 2010

V. Protecting Internet Security

Internet security is a prerequisite for the sound development and effective utilization of the Internet. Internet security problems are pressing nowadays, and this has become a problem of common concern in all countries. China also faces severe Internet security threats. Effectively protecting Internet security is an important part of China' s Internet administration, and an indispensable requirement for protecting state security and the public interest. The Chinese government believes that the Internet is an important infrastructure facility for the nation. Within Chinese territory the Internet is under the jurisdiction of Chinese sovereignty. The Internet sovereignty of China should be respected and protected. Citizens of the People's Republic of China and foreign citizens, legal persons and other organizations within Chinese territory have the right and freedom to use the Internet; at the same time, they must obey the laws and regulations of China and conscientiously protect Internet security.

Protecting Internet security in accordance with the law. In order to protect Internet security, related rules are included in laws and regulations, including the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, Decision of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Guarding Internet Security, Law of the People's Republic of China on Punishments in Public Order and Security Administration, Regulations on Telecommunications of the People's Republic of China, Regulations on the Protection of Computer Information System Security of the People's Republic of China, Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services and Measures on the Administration of Security Protection of the International Networking of Computer Information Networks, in order to promote the sound development of China's Internet, protect state security, social and public interests, and lawful rights and interests of individuals, legal persons and other organizations. Article 6 of the Regulations on Telecommunications of the People's Republic of China stipulates that "The security of telecommunications networks and information shall be protected by law. No organization or individual may utilize telecommunication networks to engage in activities that jeopardize state security, the public interest or the legitimate rights and interests of other people."

Secure information flow. The free and safe flow of Internet information is integrated as a whole. On the premise of protecting the safe flow of Internet information, the free flow of Internet information may be realized. The Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the safe flow of Internet information, actively guides people to manage websites in accordance with the law and use the Internet in a wholesome and correct way. The Decision of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Guarding Internet Security, Regulations on Telecommunications of the People's Republic of China and Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services stipulate that no organization or individual may produce, duplicate, announce or disseminate information having the following contents: being against the cardinal principles set forth in the Constitution; endangering state security, divulging state secrets, subverting state power and jeopardizing national unification; damaging state honor and interests; instigating ethnic hatred or discrimination and jeopardizing ethnic unity; jeopardizing state religious policy, propagating heretical or superstitious ideas; spreading rumors, disrupting social order and stability; disseminating obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence, brutality and terror or abetting crime; humiliating or slandering others, trespassing on the lawful rights and interests of others; and other contents forbidden by laws and administrative regulations. These regulations are the legal basis for the protection of Internet information security within the territory of the People's Republic of China. All Chinese citizens, foreign citizens, legal persons and other organizations within the territory of China must obey these provisions.

Combating computer crime in accordance with the law. In recent years, computer crimes in China have been on the increase. The tendency of the combination of various traditional crimes and computer crimes has become gradually more obvious. Online fraud, online theft and other forms of crimes which encroach on the property of others are increasing rapidly. Crimes such as producing and spreading computer viruses, and computer and network hacking are increasing. Criminal activities such as disseminating obscenity, pornography and gambling are still pressing problems. Public security departments dealt with 142 computer crime cases in 1998, 29,000 in 2007, 35,000 in 2008 and 48,000 in 2009. In order to effectively combat computer crimes, the Chinese laws stipulate that criminal activities conducted by making use of the Internet or against the Internet shall be investigated and dealt with in accordance with the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China; if such activities are not serious enough to constitute crimes, administrative punishment shall be meted out in accordance with the Law of the People's Republic of China on Punishments in Public Order and Security Administration and Measures on the Administration of Security Protection of the International Networking of Computer Information Networks.

Opposing all forms of computer hacking. Like other countries, China faces a severe challenge of online criminal activities such as computer hacking and viruses. China is one of the countries suffering most from hacking. According to incomplete statistics, more than one million IP addresses in China were controlled from overseas in 2009, 42,000 websites were distorted by hackers, 18 million Chinese computers are infected by the Conficker virus every month, about 30% of the computers infected globally. Chinese laws prohibit all forms of hacking. The Decision of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Guarding Internet Security stipulates that acts deconstructing Internet security which constitute crimes, such as "intentionally inventing and spreading destructive programs such as computer viruses to attack the computer system and the communications network, thus damaging the computer system and the communications network," shall be investigated for criminal liability in accordance with the relevant provisions in the Criminal Law. Articles 285 and 286 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China contain concrete provisions on the criminal punishment of illegal activities such as illegally obtaining data stored in or handled or transmitted by the computer information system, or providing destructive programs or tools for invasion and illegal control of computer information systems.

National situations and cultural traditions differ among countries, and so concern about Internet security also differs. Concerns about Internet security of different countries should be fully respected. We should seek common ground and reserve differences, promote development through exchanges, and jointly protect international Internet security.

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Editor: Pliny Han
Source: Xinhua