The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 16 other business lobbies have sent a letter to Washington officials urging them to oppose China’s new cyber security regulations.
In the letter, technology vendors argue that China’s new regulations would require them to hand over their source code and adopt China’s encryption algorithms, measures which could potentially undermine the security of their customers around the world.
Under the new regulations, ICT companies would also have to set up research and development (R&D) departments in China and store all information about Chinese customers solely on Chinese servers.
These restrictions, the letter goes on to argue, would limit business opportunities for technology companies everywhere, including in China.
“An overly broad, opaque, discriminatory approach to cybersecurity policy that restricts global internet and ICT products and services would ultimately isolate Chinese ICT firms from the global marketplace and weaken cybersecurity, thereby harming China’s economic growth and development and restricting customer choice,” the letter reads.
U.S. technology companies originally wrote to China on January 28th and asked that the regulations be delayed so that they could have time to discuss their concerns amongst themselves.
China’s regulations represent just one of the latest Sino-American disagreements over cyber security, an issue which has been challenging U.S. and Chinese relations for years.
Recently, sources have claimed that hackers sponsored by China may have been responsible for breaching Anthem, the United States’ second largest health insurer.
The incident potentially compromised as many as 80 million customers, not to mention Anthem employees.
Investigative journalist Brian Krebs explains on his blog that China’s involvement in the breach could explain an FBI alert he received last week warning that a significant number of computer exploitation activities emanating from China had succeeded in compromising sensitive data stored on American commercial and government networks.
The FBI’s investigation of the Anthem breach is ongoing.