China Using US Encryption Fight To Defend Its New Encryption Backdoor Mandate

from the because,-of-course dept

It’s not like this wasn’t easy to predict (because we did exactly that), but as China is pushing forward with its new “anti-terrorism” law, it’s using the US’s fight over encryption as a reason for why the law shouldn’t be a problem. Part of the law would require that companies backdoor any encryption for the Chinese government:

The initial draft, published by parliament late last year, requires companies to keep servers and user data within China, supply law enforcement authorities with communications records and censor terrorism-related Internet content.

China has said many Western governments, including the United States, have made similar requests for encryption keys, and Chinese companies operating in the United States had been subject to intense security checks.

Again, this is hardly surprising, but with all of these politicians demanding backdoors, or other surveillance techniques, have any of them stopped to consider the message being sent to other governments around the globe? Either way, the bill has now been approved by the Chinese Parliament. And, again, the Chinese government is pointing to other countries as to why it’s no big deal:

Speaking after China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament passed the law, Li Shouwei, deputy head of the parliament’s criminal law division under the legislative affairs committee, said China was simply doing what other Western nations already do in asking technology firms to help fight terror.

“This rule accords with the actual work need of fighting terrorism and is basically the same as what other major countries in the world do,” Li told reporters.

So, again, to all the politicians and lawmakers supporting backdooring encryption, what’s your response when China uses it to say that’s why they’re doing it as well?

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Comments on “China Using US Encryption Fight To Defend Its New Encryption Backdoor Mandate”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

You really need to ask?

So, again, to all the politicians and lawmakers supporting backdooring encryption, what’s your response when China uses it to say that’s why they’re doing it as well?


Politicians: “China? Is that a country or something? I’m sorry, but I have no idea how that is relevant to the discussion of combating terrorism by making sure that terrorists don’t have secure forms of communications to use.”


Politicians: “See, China has passed strong anti-terrorism laws, and they’re doing fine! Clearly all the hype over how dangerous encryption backdoors are are nothing but scaremongering by the terrorist-sympathizers in the tech industry, unwilling to take simple, reasonable steps to combat terrorism!”

Those pushing for crippled encryption show a complete disregard for the security of those living in the same country that they do, why would they care what happens to the people in other countries? If anything they’re probably glad for china’s move here, as it means a free security vulnerability that they can exploit without having to do anything themselves but find it.

ponky security tales in woe and jammin ponk says:

ponky jammin backdoors ponk

You are all an incompetant bunch of arseholes and the next world war is only a few years off. Such waste, such stupidity and such idiocy by a few in high places that are not elected and serve no purpose other than to create wars and death. This world is headed for the dustbin of history forever. The people are not wanted so they are dieing, the world is being carved up by the so called powers that be, otherwise known as the central world government. No country can challenge them no one can disobey them. Be afraid, be very afraid, you have no power, you have no rights, you have no purpose to live.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sooooo… The law they passed is the public word. What’s to say that they don’t have EOs that say anything made in china needs to have Chinese backdoor built into it already? Hmmm… phones, routers, computers — all of these are used by everyone in our government — hell everyone on the planet uses Made in China electronic goods.

DavidMxx (profile) says:

A boon for US surveillance

Whether you agree with their methods or not, most would agree that the NSA is very good at finding ways to capture communications. If the Chinese Government actually forces a backdoor into all encryption used in China, one can expect that the NSA will be quick to take advantage of that. It is likely that this will be a short-lived requirement (and may help us make the point here in the US as well), once some highly sensitive Chinese data becomes freely available to the US…

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: A boon for US surveillance

You vastly underestimate the ego and boneheadedness of politicians. Admitting that mandatory encryption backdoors are a security nightmare would require them to admit to being wrong when they called for and/or implemented them, and you’d be hard pressed to find a politician willing to admit to being wrong.

No, more likely when such data is obtained by another party, whether individual or government, they’ll just double down and insist that it happened not because of the broken encryption, but because the tech companies didn’t try hard enough, or didn’t properly implement the broken encryption, with threats of even more burdensome legislation if it happens again.

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