New Chinese cybersecurity law will force Apple to keep data on local servers, aid gov't. searches

Posted:
in iCloud
The Chinese parliament has officially approved new electronic security legislation, due to go into effect in June 2017, which could force companies like Apple to make changes to how they handle their data infrastructure -- particularly if they're concerned about privacy.




"Critical information infrastructure operators" must now store both personal and business data on Chinese servers, according to the new law, detailed by Reuters. While Apple has been storing some user data on Chinese servers since 2014, the company may now have little choice but to do so.

More seriously, those operators will now have to provide "technical support" to security agencies, and pass security reviews. The law also makes it illegal to use the internet to "damage national unity," providing official cover for pursuing dissidents.

Reuters noted that some of the law's provisions were already effective in practice, but that their codification comes alongside President Xi Jinping instituting a crackdown on groups like the media and civil rights lawyers. The Communist Party has been particularly focused on countering "historical nihilism," defined as rejecting the Communist revolution and/or its inevitability, or criticizing its trajectory.

In August, over 40 global business groups petitioned Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to amend some of the more controversial sections of the law.

The legislation could scare some companies away from doing business in China, but many like Apple may not be willing to sacrifice sales to avoid the hassle and potential violations of customer privacy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,296member
    This is going to be difficult for Apple:  abandon this giant market, or refute one of their own core principles...
    Difficult and inconsistent to do these things in China, but a substantively different version of them in the U.S.
    magman1979calilmagoolmacjony0nolamacguybaconstangperkedel
  • Reply 2 of 42
    This is where senior executives at multinational corporations earn their paychecks.
    magman1979calilmagooSolijony0Deelronbaconstangperkedelbadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,467member
    Well this will be interesting. 
    Cook was prepared to defy the FBI in the US to protect privacy. Let's see how far he'll go in China. 


    perkedel
  • Reply 4 of 42
    physguyphysguy Posts: 905member
    They can't abandon this market but they need to fork the software to make clear elsewhere they're not caving.  They can't abandon it because they need to continue to try and institute change and you can't do that if you don't participate.
    baconstang
  • Reply 5 of 42
    irelandireland Posts: 16,402member
    Governments.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 42
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,216member
    So if Apple is required to provide "technical assistance" to security agencies, that sounds like China will force Apple to create a backdoor. 
    watto_cobralostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,789member
    So if Apple is required to provide "technical assistance" to security agencies, that sounds like China will force Apple to create a backdoor. 
    I would guess it would be Apple's chocie of what method they use to comply with Chinese demands for a particular user's data. Creating an actual backdoor for the Chinese government agencies might be one way but Apple harvesting the information themselves in-house would be a whole lot better. Not particularly wise to give the Chinese a way to do it without Apple's direct assistance in every case IMHO. 
    caliration al
  • Reply 8 of 42
    holyoneholyone Posts: 251member
    I wonder how Steve would handle this, the real question is what's the plan, I'm sure Tim saw this coming a long time ago and began planing for it, guess we'll see
    Solinolamacguyration albaconstanglostkiwiviclauyyc
  • Reply 9 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,789member
    holyone said:
    I wonder how Steve would handle this, the real question is what's the plan, I'm sure Tim saw this coming a long time ago and began planing for it, guess we'll see
    I'm sure Microsoft, Apple and hundreds of other foreign companies have already planned how to comply as it's been in the works for over a year. Personally I doubt any company making significant profits in China will bolt that market as result of the new security laws. 
    ration al
  • Reply 10 of 42
    There is Rayz2016 said:
    Well this will be interesting. 
    Cook was prepared to defy the FBI in the US to protect privacy. Let's see how far he'll go in China. 


    No this will be boring and depressive: there is no way around this in China. The FBI was easy to defy because the US isn't China: Apple's stance triggered a public discussion. We probably won't find out much about it either because Apple will have no interest in detailing exactly how they will have to cave in to the Chinese government's demand.

    The only way around it would be to abandon China - like Google has done by the way back in 2010. Among the multi-nationals they are the only ones who won't be affected much by these rules because they already paid the cost of losing the Chinese market in 2010.
    edited November 2016 baconstanglostkiwiviclauyyc
  • Reply 11 of 42
    If this same proposal were being implemented in the US, the law would give responsibility for some agency to work out the details and then industry would work with that agency on the implementation details (and almost certainly extend the deadline, see how "positive train control" regulation has been handled as an example).  It will be interesting to see how this works in China.  It seems impossible that Apple and others can become 100% compliant to these new rules by January 1, 2017.
    baconstang
  • Reply 12 of 42
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,555member
    There is Rayz2016 said:
    Well this will be interesting. 
    Cook was prepared to defy the FBI in the US to protect privacy. Let's see how far he'll go in China. 


    No this will be boring and depressive: there is no way around this in China. The FBI was easy to defy because the US isn't China: Apple's stance triggered a public discussion. We probably won't find out much about it either because Apple will have no interest in detailing exactly how they will have to cave in to the Chinese government's demand.

    The only way around it would be to abandon China - like Google has done by the way back in 2010. Among the multi-nationals they are the only ones who won't be affected much by these rules because they already paid the cost of losing the Chinese market in 2010.
    Exactly right on all counts. Either Apple complies or Apple is gone. 

    Apple has always been clear that they follow the laws of the countries in which they operate. In some sense, well duh. But it's important to keep in mind. In countries like the US there are ways to legally challenge the government. But in places like China it's either impossible or much, much harder. 
    Deelronbaconstangviclauyyc
  • Reply 13 of 42
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,338member
    This is a sticky wicket. 
  • Reply 14 of 42
    I've seen this coming for years. If they want the Chinese market and also the Indian (Indian govt. will eventually force aadhar support) they will have to bend for this stuff. It's inevitable. It'll be interesting to see how they deal with this because their security is one of their main marketing advantages. If they do bend in China but not to the US I'll be ready to leave apple. They likely make the terrorists jobs a lot easier through their obstructionist ways. 
  • Reply 15 of 42
    securtis said:
    I've seen this coming for years. If they want the Chinese market and also the Indian (Indian govt. will eventually force aadhar support) they will have to bend for this stuff. It's inevitable. It'll be interesting to see how they deal with this because their security is one of their main marketing advantages. If they do bend in China but not to the US I'll be ready to leave apple. They likely make the terrorists jobs a lot easier through their obstructionist ways. 
    I couldn't disagree more. Our devices are only going to become more connected and essential to who we are. Someday what's in a phone will be in a cybernetic upgrade to the brain. We need to set a precedent now that the encrypted information in a personal device is no more accessible against a person's will than the contents of their mind. Otherwise we are looking at a future where terrorists are a far lessor threat than governments that have near omniscience about their citizenry and where the individual has no political power whatsoever.
    blastdoorration albaconstangbadmonklostkiwi
  • Reply 16 of 42
    I hope that Apple will not leave a backdoor anywhere in their system. Apple needs to encrypt the whole iCloud now, or is it doing it now?
    watto_cobralostkiwi
  • Reply 17 of 42
    holyoneholyone Posts: 251member
    blastdoor said:
    There is Rayz2016 said:
    Well this will be interesting. 
    Cook was prepared to defy the FBI in the US to protect privacy. Let's see how far he'll go in China. 


    No this will be boring and depressive: there is no way around this in China. The FBI was easy to defy because the US isn't China: Apple's stance triggered a public discussion. We probably won't find out much about it either because Apple will have no interest in detailing exactly how they will have to cave in to the Chinese government's demand.

    The only way around it would be to abandon China - like Google has done by the way back in 2010. Among the multi-nationals they are the only ones who won't be affected much by these rules because they already paid the cost of losing the Chinese market in 2010.
    Exactly right on all counts. Either Apple complies or Apple is gone. 

    Apple has always been clear that they follow the laws of the countries in which they operate. In some sense, well duh. But it's important to keep in mind. In countries like the US there are ways to legally challenge the government. But in places like China it's either impossible or much, much harder. 
    Won't the question then be "well you already do it in communist China why not in you're home country to catch terrorist ?", dicy, part of me kinda wishes Apple just bit the bulet and never got into China, now it's stuck, yeah yeah I know Apple wouldn't be as big as it and business is business, just not sure how this can't be completely against everything that makes Apple, Apple, is being the wealthiest company in the wold woth this? Glad I'm not deciding that.Google did pretty well I think though.
    baconstang
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Rayz2016 said:
    Well this will be interesting. 
    Cook was prepared to defy the FBI in the US to protect privacy. Let's see how far he'll go in China. 


    Tim Cook challenged the Constitutionality (legality) of the FBI's request for data. If the law mandated that Apple hand over the data and the Supreme Court rejected Apple's legal challenge, then Apple would comply or face the legal consequences -- fines, restraining orders, arrests, etc.
    blastdoorration aljfc1138
  • Reply 19 of 42
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,555member
    holyone said:
    blastdoor said:
    There is Rayz2016 said:
    Well this will be interesting. 
    Cook was prepared to defy the FBI in the US to protect privacy. Let's see how far he'll go in China. 


    No this will be boring and depressive: there is no way around this in China. The FBI was easy to defy because the US isn't China: Apple's stance triggered a public discussion. We probably won't find out much about it either because Apple will have no interest in detailing exactly how they will have to cave in to the Chinese government's demand.

    The only way around it would be to abandon China - like Google has done by the way back in 2010. Among the multi-nationals they are the only ones who won't be affected much by these rules because they already paid the cost of losing the Chinese market in 2010.
    Exactly right on all counts. Either Apple complies or Apple is gone. 

    Apple has always been clear that they follow the laws of the countries in which they operate. In some sense, well duh. But it's important to keep in mind. In countries like the US there are ways to legally challenge the government. But in places like China it's either impossible or much, much harder. 
    Won't the question then be "well you already do it in communist China why not in you're home country to catch terrorist ?", dicy, part of me kinda wishes Apple just bit the bulet and never got into China, now it's stuck, yeah yeah I know Apple wouldn't be as big as it and business is business, just not sure how this can't be completely against everything that makes Apple, Apple, is being the wealthiest company in the wold woth this? Glad I'm not deciding that.Google did pretty well I think though.
    Sure, people will ask that question. But the answer is not actually very hard. It's something like "If the United States adopts the same laws as China, then of course we will follow those laws here just as we do in China. However, speaking as citizens of the Untied States, we urge our government not to adopt the same laws as China. We believe the Chinese made a mistake and we would rather not see that mistake repeated elsewhere." 
    gatorguySolinolamacguyration al
  • Reply 20 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 15,789member
    blastdoor said:
    holyone said:
    blastdoor said:
    There is Rayz2016 said:
    Well this will be interesting. 
    Cook was prepared to defy the FBI in the US to protect privacy. Let's see how far he'll go in China. 


    No this will be boring and depressive: there is no way around this in China. The FBI was easy to defy because the US isn't China: Apple's stance triggered a public discussion. We probably won't find out much about it either because Apple will have no interest in detailing exactly how they will have to cave in to the Chinese government's demand.

    The only way around it would be to abandon China - like Google has done by the way back in 2010. Among the multi-nationals they are the only ones who won't be affected much by these rules because they already paid the cost of losing the Chinese market in 2010.
    Exactly right on all counts. Either Apple complies or Apple is gone. 

    Apple has always been clear that they follow the laws of the countries in which they operate. In some sense, well duh. But it's important to keep in mind. In countries like the US there are ways to legally challenge the government. But in places like China it's either impossible or much, much harder. 
    Won't the question then be "well you already do it in communist China why not in you're home country to catch terrorist ?", dicy, part of me kinda wishes Apple just bit the bulet and never got into China, now it's stuck, yeah yeah I know Apple wouldn't be as big as it and business is business, just not sure how this can't be completely against everything that makes Apple, Apple, is being the wealthiest company in the wold woth this? Glad I'm not deciding that.Google did pretty well I think though.
    Sure, people will ask that question. But the answer is not actually very hard. It's something like "If the United States adopts the same laws as China, then of course we will follow those laws here just as we do in China. However, speaking as citizens of the Untied States, we urge our government not to adopt the same laws as China. We believe the Chinese made a mistake and we would rather not see that mistake repeated elsewhere." 
    Well stated and very good advice.
    blastdoor
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