BEIJING - China's legislature approved a cybersecurity law on Monday that human rights activists warn will tighten political controls and foreign companies say might hamper access to Chinese technology markets.
Chinese authorities say the law is required to prevent crime and terrorism. It also prohibits activity aimed at "overthrowing the socialist system," a reference to challenges to the ruling Communist Party's monopoly on power.
Chinese leaders promote internet use for business and education but try to block access to material deemed subversive or obscene. The country has the biggest population of Internet users at 710 million, according to government data.
The latest measure approved by the National People's Congress requires companies to enforce censorship and aid in investigations and imposes standards for security technology. It tightens controls on where Chinese citizens' data can be stored.