China’s legislature unanimously passed a controversial anti-terrorism law on Sunday despite months of objections from major tech firms and Washington alike. Among other requirements, the new rules state that telecom operators and internet service providers must “provide technical support and assistance, including decryption” to Chinese authorities to help prevent and investigate terrorist activities. The new law does not require that companies operating in China hand over encryption keys.
Like somewhat similar recent proposals from groups in the U.K. and U.S., Beijing claims such access is necessary to defend against terrorism. But many in the West are understandably concerned about providing such unfettered access to the Chinese government, considering its track record of censorship and repeated allegations of cyber espionage against U.S. firms and government agencies.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.