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New anti-terrorism law in China requires tech companies to divulge encryption keys

By dkpope
Dec 28, 2015
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  1. [parsehtml]<p><img src="https://www.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2015/12/2015-12-28-image.jpg" /></p> <p>China just passed an anti-terrorism law that says companies must hand over encryption keys when officials want to take a look at someone&rsquo;s messages. If you rely on encrypted messaging services to keep discussions private while in China, this isn&rsquo;t good news. Reuters reports that officials say that <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-security-idUSKBN0UA07220151227">this isn&rsquo;t the same thing as requiring backdoors</a>, but it&rsquo;s still concerning if you use an app or website where it&rsquo;s possible to request the encryption key.</p> <p>A provision in an initial draft that would require companies to keep servers and user data within China was removed from the final law.</p> <p>In theory, some services are safe. One example is Apple&rsquo;s iMessage service that&rsquo;s designed to prevent Apple from obtaining the keys. But this leads to another possible problem. What if Chinese courts order a service to hand over keys that the service can&rsquo;t access? What happens then? This is a hypothetical, but there is a chance that some tech giants could face sticky situations in the future.</p> <p>Hypotheticals aside, some companies will now have no choice but to give your information if it&#39;s demanded by officials in China. And it&#39;s never a good thing to hear that privacy has fallen lower on the priority list.&#8203;</p> <p class="grey">Image Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-269722400/stock-photo-privacy-concept-row-of-painted-green-opened-padlock-icons-around-black-closed-padlock-icon-on.html?src=WvKQ5bdbt9lkwrhhFcaoEw-1-12">Shutterstock</a></p><p><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/63261-new-anti-terrorism-law-china-requires-tech-companies.html' target='_blank'>Permalink to story.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/63261-new-anti-terrorism-law-china-requires-tech-companies.html'>https://www.techspot.com/news/63261-new-anti-terrorism-law-china-requires-tech-companies.html</a></p>[/parsehtml]
  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,513   +900

    Nice to see China learning something from the US, label it anti-terrorism!
    AnonymousSurfer likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,794   +1,533

    LOL .... ain't that the truth. Soon you'll see their own version of the Patriot Act!
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,981   +2,872

    If the authorities can provide strong enough evidence to suspect somebody of terrorism or any serious crime and obtain the necessary warrants to pick through their messages then it's 100% fine as far as I'm concerned but we all know it doesn't quite work that way. Authorities always abuse their power, that's why they're the authorities and often worse than the criminals themselves.

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