Over the weekend, Liu Yunshan, China’s propaganda chief, attended a ceremony at Shanghai’s Xijiao Conference Center to provide the official kickoff for China Cybersecurity Week, a nationwide push to implant knowledge about the risks of internet technology “deep in the hearts of the people.”
The official theme of this year’s conference: “Cybersecurity for the People, Cybersecurity Depending on the People.”
Attending the conference were officials from various government departments — including the Ministry of Education, the Public Security Bureau and the Office of the State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA) — and representatives from internet companies, many (like Li Xuyang of Tencent’s Anti-Fraud Lab) dealing in some way with content regulation or data security.
Here is a quick translation of the gist of the cybersecurity event as reported by Xinhua News Agency via Caixin :
Liu Yunshan said that since the 18th National Congress of the CCP, General Secretary Xi Jinping has accurately grasped the trends of the times, standing firmly in our country’s experience developing and governing the internet, and surrounding the question of what is an internet power, and how to build an internet power, [he] delivered a series of new ideas, viewpoints and demands, leading cybersecurity and informatization in our country to important achievements. [We] must continue to direct our experiences of cybersecurity according to General Secretary Xi Jinping’s internet power strategy, steadfastly traveling a path toward development of an internet with Chinese characteristics (中国特色网络发展道路) . . .
Liu Yunshan pointed out that cybersecurity is for the people, and cybersecurity relies on the people. We must persevere in raising the consciousness of the people, and technical training, about cybersecurity issues, and we must use the platform of China Cybersecurity Week to energetically spread knowledge about cybersecurity . . .
Liu Yunshan emphasized that both Party and government at all levels must faithfully implement a responsibility system for cybersecurity, establishing local responsibility for cybersecurity. . . Internet enterprises must strengthen their social responsibility and moral responsibility, playing their necessary role in the preservation of cybersecurity. The masses of internet users must abide by the law in going online, acting in a civilised manner online, being positive practitioners of our nation’s cybersecurity. We must strengthen construction of online content, foster a positive and healthy online culture, and develop and expand online positive energy, further cleaning up the online space.
The appeal for the active involvement of Chinese citizens is more than rhetorical. As the Global Times reported last week, in the midst of a separate cybersecurity conference in Beijing, China is putting great effort into “mobilizing its masses of internet users” against a range of cyber threats. According to the Global Times, China will launch a national campaign later this year to beef up cybersecurity education in the country’s universities. And many local governments are already recruiting teams of volunteers to help police live-streaming and other online content.
David Bandurski is a Richard von Weizsäcker fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.