Regional regulations are affecting cross-border data flows, whether motivated by protection of user privacy, control over the Internet, or otherwise. Europe and the U.S. have sought to protect cross-border data flows between the two regions through the U.S.-E.U. Privacy Shield. . At the same time, there is a growing sense of concern that Asia is becoming Balkanized when it comes to cross-border data flows there.
On July 6, 2015, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) released a draft of a Cyber Security Law for comment. A number of multinationals and foreign business associations expressed concern about required safety certifications and inspections for “suppliers of network products and services” before market entry and mandated siting of data centers in China. After receiving those comments, the NPC did not take action, even during the so-called “Two Meetings” that included the NPC’s annual meeting earlier this year.
It’s easy to forget about the submarine cables that lie beneath our oceans, but without them, the world would come to a standstill. The cables that connect six of the Earth’s continents are vitally important, accounting for more than 95 percent of phone calls, internet service, and data traffic between the United States and the outside world, as well as a huge amount of money.
“They are responsible for $10 trillion worth of transactional value every day,” Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said during a monthly Federal Communications Commission meeting today. “That is more than triple what the United States spends on health care annually. It is greater than the combined domestic product of Japan, Germany, and Australia. It is a big deal.”
Last summer, on July 8, 2015, a typhoon ripped through the Pacific Ocean and damaged one of these submarine cables. According to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, for months, it left tens of thousands of U.S. citizens in Pacific islands unable to use a credit card, withdraw money from an ATM, or make a phone call even to 911. Today, the FCC decided that the security and maintenance of the underwater cables had been ignored long enough, and enacted a new rule it hopes will help prevent disasters like the July 2015 outage.
China moved closer on Monday to adopting a controversial cybersecurity law, after parliament held a second reading of the draft rules, which carry significant consequences for domestic and foreign business and threaten greater censorship.
China enforces widespread controls over the internet that it has sought to codify in law, and Chinese laws often go through multiple readings and drafts before they are adopted.
The draft, presented before the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, requires network operators to comply with social morals and accept the supervision of the government and public, official news agency Xinhua said.