China is drafting counterterrorism
legislation that would give the
government sweeping access to
companies’ communications. If
passed, which is expected to
happen in the coming weeks or
months, the law could exacerbate
existing tensions with Silicon
Valley and the U.S.
Introduced last year but revised
this week, the legislation would
require companies to keep all
servers and user data within
China; supply the government
with communications; and censor
terrorism-related Internet content.
Additionally, it calls for technology
companies to build encryption
“backdoors” and hand over the
keys to the government.
“It’s the equivalent of the Patriot
Act on really, really strong
steroids,” an anonymous U.S.
industry source told Reuters.
Though President Barack Obama ,
FBI Director James Comey and
National Security Agency Director
Michael Rogers have all called for
technology companies in the U.S.
to create paths into their devices’
encryption so the government can
gain access to customers’ data, the
administration reportedly opposes
China argues, however, that in the
wake of former NSA analyst
Edward Snowden’s revelations
about the U.S. government’s
apparatus, stronger Chinese
cybersecurity measures are