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[FYI] (Fwd) New China Online Subversion Law

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Thu, 28 Dec 2000 18:11:48 -0500
From:           	David Banisar <banisar@privacy.org>
Subject:        	New China Online Subversion Law
To:             	Global Internet Liberty Campaign <gilc-plan@gilc.org>
Send reply to:  	gilc-plan@gilc.org

Today: December 28, 2000 at 9:10:55 PST

China: Online Subversion Illegal

BEIJING (AP) -- China's legislature on Thursday passed a law against
online subversion, ratifying the communist government's sweeping
efforts to extend its political controls into cyberspace.

The measure also makes it illegal to produce or transmit computer
viruses or to break into military computer networks, the official
Xinhua News Agency said without giving any details on penalties.

The law adds to mounting efforts to regulate online activity after a
period when largely unregulated cyberspace offered a forum to critics
of the government.

Official task forces already try to block access to Web sites deemed
undesirable. Service providers are required to guard against political
activity, and businesses that offer Web access without required
licenses have been closed in a series of crackdowns.

Beijing already is using other laws to attack unwanted online 
activity. A Shanghai software entrepreneur was released earlier this
year after 18 months in prison on charges that he gave e-mail
addresses to dissidents abroad.

Police shut down a dissident-run Beijing Web site in August on the
grounds that it contained "counterrevolutionary content."

Online crime also is reported to be growing. State media have 
reported online fraud and cases of hackers breaking into computers at
banks and stock brokerages. Newspapers said earlier this year that
police in at least 20 cities have set up units to combat online crime.

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