China Focus: China’s draft law highlights information security, national territory awareness

Xinhua net
April 24, 2017BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) —
Chinese lawmakers are considering revisions to the surveying and mapping law to protect geographic information security and raise public awareness of national territory.

The amended draft was submitted to legislators for a second reading at the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which runs until Thursday.

The revisions deal with the use of safe, reliable technology and equipment, managing navigation and positioning reference stations and supervision of Internet mapping services, said Xie Jingrong, a vice chairman of the Law Committee of the NPC.

Violators could face fines up to 1 million yuan (over 145,000 U.S. dollars) or have their business licenses revoked, and could face criminal charges. Foreign offenders could be deported.

INFORMATION SECURITY

The revision has become more pressing as some extant clauses do not address current problems, such as the leakage of information of Internet map service users, due to new business models including bike-sharing services.

The bike-sharing system allows riders to locate the nearest bicycle through an interactive map in a mobile app, rent them by scanning a QR code on the bike, and leave them wherever they finish riding, with no need to return them to a fixed station.

In order to enable everyone to use maps that represent China’s territory correctly, the draft law stressed that regulations on mapping should be followed in formulating, publishing or exhibiting maps.

Internet map providers should use maps that are authorized in accordance with the law and protect the integrity of mapping data, it stated.

According to the draft, those responsible for the production and use of geographic information, as well as Internet mapping service providers, should abide by laws and regulations on personal information protection when they gather or use personal information.

Noting that developing geographic information is a significant guarantee for national security, the draft stipulated that the country should promote the use of safe and reliable technology and equipment for geographic information.

The draft also specified regulations on satellite navigation and positioning reference stations. It said departments of the State Council in charge of surveying geographic information should coordinate with provincial-level authorities in establishing a unified satellite navigation and positioning reference system.

NATIONAL TERRITORY AWARENESS

The amendments suggest raising awareness of national territory should be included in the curricula for middle and primary schools.

Governments at all levels and media outlets should increase people’s awareness of national territory, it said.

Lawmakers said that raising public awareness of national territory is an important part of patriotic education, it noted.

The law was formulated in 1992 and amended for the first time 10 years later.

SEVERE PUNISHMENT

Foreign organizations or individuals that are unauthorized or carry out surveying and mapping activities without cooperation with China’s relevant departments will face fines of up to 1 million yuan or criminal charges, according to the draft.

The fine for those who release geological data without authorization about territory administered by the government will face fines of up to 500,000 yuan, compared with the current ceiling of 100,000 yuan.

Revision work for the surveying and mapping law began in 2016.