Wong seeks to anticipate cybersecurity law

The government hopes the legislative process for a cybersecurity law will be initiated in the second half of 2018, said the Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, yesterday.

Wong added that opinions and suggestions gathered during a public consultation held between December 11 of last year and January 24 of this year are currently being analyzed. He expects a revision of the government-proposed bill on the topic to be completed in the first half of this year.

During the 45-day public consultation period, a total of 716 opinions and suggestions were received.

Speaking to reporters yesterday morning, Wong said the majority of opinions were expressing support for a mandatory requirement for purchasers of telephone SIM cards in Macau to provide details from a personal identification document. A statement issued by the Government Information Bureau acknowledged that some comments expressed concern about the protection of personal information and the procedures for government departments to carry out their respective duties under the envisaged law.

The Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau is currently analyzing what methods of sharing personal information – which may occur during the purchase of a SIM card or when activating a SIM card – would provide greatest convenience to consumers in Macau while also protecting their personal information. The bureau has not ruled out the possibility of asking for personal registration both at point of sale and at the time of card activation.

The Secretary reiterated that the cybersecurity bill aimed to maintain the security of the city’s “critical infrastructure” relating to information technology, and to protect the public’s safety when using the Internet.

Monitoring functions envisaged under the future law would be for the purposes of detecting any irregularity in the flow of data; it would not involve access to any personal information, said Wong.

To obtain security-encrypted content posted online – such as in situations where a criminal act was suspected – public departments will be required to obtain approval from the judiciary before decoding such online material for investigation, the secretary added.

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