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Lawmakers pass cybersecurity bill

The Legislative Assembly (AL) passed a government-initiated bill on cybersecurity, according to which mandatory real-name registration for the provision of telecom services will be implemented.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:44 am

The Legislative Assembly (AL) Thursday passed a government-initiated bill on cybersecurity, according to which mandatory real-name registration for the provision of telecom services will be implemented – i.e. customers will be required to provide their real identification data to telecom service operators, including for the purchase of a pre-paid SIM card.

The bill will become law 180 days after its promulgation in the Official Gazette (BO).

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak attended  the plenary session when the bill was voted on article-by-article in its final reading.

Wong insisted that the law will not affect the freedom of expression as the Judiciary Police will only monitor data movements but not analyse their contents.

Wong made the pledge in response to “serious reservations” by lawmaker-cum-activist Sulu Sou Ka Hou concerning the law’s perceived impact on the media.

According to the new law, when a telecom service operator signs a contract with a customer for the provision of telecom services, the operator shall record and verify the customer’s identification data. The mandatory implementation of real-name registration will also include pre-paid SIM cards.

Concerning the pre-paid SIM cards purchased before the new cybersecurity law comes into force, telecom service operators will have to record the card users’ identification data within 120 days of the new law coming into force, according to the new law.

According to the new law, the telecom service operators will then have to deactivate the cards if the pre-paid SIM cards’ users failed to provide their identification data within the 120-day transition period.

The law also provides for the setting-up of a Cybersecurity Commission, which will be headed by the chief executive, and a centre to respond to cybersecurity incidents that will be run by the Judiciary Police (PJ).(Macaunews)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:44 am

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