China's top legislature reviewed for the first time a draft revision to the Law on Guarding State Secrets, underlining the cutoff of Internet or other public network access to the country's confidential information, the country's official news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.
The revision added issues including taking technical measures to protect the network containing secrets and to insulate computers or other storage devices containing secret information from public connections.
According to the draft revision, computers and storage devices containing confidential information would not be allowed to be connected to Internet and other public network services.
In cases where no protective measures were adopted, confidential information would be banned from being transmitted through wired and wireless communications, Internet and other public information network services.
The draft revision would minimize the number of people having access to state secrets and set up more scientific secret recognition, rating and termination procedures amid efforts to improve efficiency.
Parts of the existing secrets law which took effect on May 1, 1989, had become obsolete, said Yong Xia, head of the National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets (NAPSS).
New situations and problems have emerged in guarding state secrets as the country's social and economic development advances rapidly, especially with the introduction and development of information technology and the application of e-government, Xia said.
An investigation by the NPC found that the proportion of secret-leaking cases through the Internet accounted for more than 70% of the total.
The materials to preserve and handle state secrets have changed from paper to acoustic, optical, electronic and magnetic forms, which created the need for corresponding policies, according to the official.
According to the existing law on guarding state secrets, state secrets refer to classified information concerning major policies and decisions of state affairs, national defense and activities of the armed forces, diplomatic activities, national economic and social development, science and technology, activities to safeguard state security and the investigation of crimes, and other items that are classified as state secrets by the state secret protection departments.
The draft revision was submitted to the ninth session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation. It had been discussed and passed in April at an executive meeting of the State Council, the Cabinet, said Xinhua.