Chinas Congress Passes New Cryptography Law

China has passed on October 26 a new cryptography law () regulating how the technology will be used by the government, businesses and private citizens once it goes into effect on January 1, 2020.


Under the new law, the term "cryptography" refers to products, technologies and services that use specific transformations to carry out encryption protection or security certification for information, etc.


The law classifies cryptography into three different types: core, common and commercial cryptography. Core and common cryptography, which will be managed by authorities in the subject, will be used to protect Chinas confidential information such as state secrets.


Confidential information of the state sent over wire and wireless communications as well as the information systems that store and dispose of this information must use core and common cryptography for their encrypted protection and security authentication.


Commercial cryptography on the other hand, is for protecting information that is not confidential information of the state and this technology can be used by citizens, legal personnel and businesses in accordance with Chinas laws. 


However, the scientific research, production, sales, services and import and export of commercial cryptography will not impair state security, public interests or the legitimate rights and interests of others.


Chinas new law will also require that institutions working on cryptography will have to establish management systems in order to guarantee the security of their encryption. These managers wont be able to ask private encryption developers to turn over their source code or other proprietary information but any business secrets they do obtain, will have to be kept confidential.


Those who fail to report security risks they encounter will be punished as well as anyone who provides cryptographic systems for sale which are not examined authenticated. Chinas existing cybersecurity laws already punish the use of encryption in any way that can threaten the state and its new law includes similar provisions.

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