State-run media reported today that Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released new restrictions on software that may be installed on smartphones, to take effect later this year. Internet users have noted that the 4th provision of this announcement may be the most notable, as it could be used to further restrict freedom of speech. The full translation of the article is below.
MIIT: It is forbidden to install five types of malware on smartphones
Source: Beijing Morning Post
Beijing Morning Post (Journalist Jiao Likun): The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted the “Notice Concerning Enhancing Mobile Smartphone End-client Management” on its official website yesterday, enhancing management of internet access by smartphones. In the notice, the MIIT clearly addressed public complaints that have long circulated about malware, clearly outlining “five major software that are forbidden to install.”
The MIIT made clear that in recent years, mobile smartphone end-clients have developed rapidly, and while they have benefited users with their convenience, all kinds of security issues have come about; for example, some collect users’ information without their permission; this seriously infringes upon users' legal rights. This “Notice” further clarifies regulations related to management of smartphone internet access, and forbids manufacturers from installing apps with the following characteristics:
1) Those that actively collect and alter users’ personal information without notifying or obtaining agreement from the user;
2) Those that actively alter the end communications functions without notifying or obtaining agreement from the user, resulting in a waste of data, monetary losses, information leaks, and other negative consequences;
3) Those that impact the normal functionality and secure communications network operations of mobile smartphone end clients;
4) Those that contain informational content whose posting and dissemination is forbidden in
“Regulation on Telecommunications of the People's Republic of China;”
5) Those that infringe upon the personal information security and legal rights of users or diminish network and information safety in other ways.
In June of last year, the MIIT submitted this Notice to the public to seek feedback on it. In the past several years, smartphones have become increasingly prevalent; however, problems involving issues such as information security and malware charging users fees have spiked sharply.
The aforementioned “Notice” will take effect on November 1st, 2013. Companies have been given six months to comply before it becomes officially enforced. The MIIT requires cellphone manufacturers to improve their products in accordance with relevant standards, and improve cellphone security. Furthermore, from April to December of this year, the MIIT will carry out a campaign against spam messages; the long-discussed “Regulations on the Management of Communications Messaging Services” is expected to come out shortly.