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Internet legislation timely, necessary: Lawmakers


09:19, December 26, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Lawmakers have hailed a draft decision on strengthening protection for personal information online that is awaiting top legislative approval later this week as a "timely and necessary" move.

Members of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress made the remarks at a panel discussion on the draft decision held on Monday during the committee's bi-monthly session.

With rapid growth and extensive application, the Internet has promoted economic and social development in recent years. However, it has also brought about many serious problems that have infringed on personal privacy and could even endanger national security, lawmakers said.

Necessary management measures lack a legal basis, as China's laws regarding the protection of personal information remain relatively undeveloped and frail, according to the lawmakers.

Many lawmakers said the draft decision is practical and pertinent, as it attends to the relation between protecting personal information and enabling convenient use of the Internet, as well as the relation between promoting Internet development and maintaining its orderly operation.

Many lawmakers called on the legislature to adopt the draft decision as soon as possible after necessary revisions, saying it is in line with public aspirations.

Some lawmakers suggested the State Council, or China's cabinet, should work out comprehensive, clear and detailed measures to ensure the implementation of the draft decision after it is adopted.

The draft decision, submitted to the top legislature for deliberation on Monday, says authorities will protect digital information that could be used to determine the identity of a user or that concerns a user's privacy.

The draft decision proposes the adoption of an identity management policy requiring Internet users to identify themselves to service providers, including Internet or telecommunications operators.

Such identity management could be conducted behind the scenes, allowing users to use different names when publicizing information, it says.

Citizens who find online information that infringes upon their own rights have the right to demand service providers to take necessary measures to stop such information from being provided, according to the draft.

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