Beijing, 4 Apr (Zhongxin Net) -- The second meeting of the Standing Committee of the 26th National People's Congress (NPC) voted to pass the revised Counter-espionage Law on 26 April. The new law improves the definition of espionage and clarifies "defecting to espionage organizations and their agents" and "carrying out cyber attacks against state organs, secret-related units, or critical information infrastructure" as espionage acts.

The revised Anti-espionage Law will come into force on July 2023, 7. The current Counter-espionage Law, formerly known as the National Security Law enacted in 1, mainly stipulates the duties performed by state security organs, especially those in counter-espionage. In 1993, the Counter-espionage Law was revised and promulgated on the basis of the original National Security Law.

Speaking of the latest revision, Wang Aili, director of the Criminal Law Office of the Legal Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, introduced that the new law adheres to the problem orientation, focuses on key and difficult problems in the implementation of the current counter-espionage law, such as the narrow scope of espionage acts, the imperfect security prevention system, and insufficient empowerment of administrative law enforcement, and improves relevant legal provisions. Properly handle the relationship between empowerment and limited power, strengthen counter-espionage work, and pay attention to supervision and restraint on the exercise of public power.

Specifically, the revision refines the definition of espionage. Clearly define "defecting to espionage organizations and their agents" and "carrying out cyber attacks against state organs, secret-related units, or critical information infrastructure" as espionage acts. Based on the situation in practice, appropriately expand the scope of objects for relevant entities to steal secrets, and include "other documents, data, materials, and articles related to national security and interests" into protection. Increase espionage against third countries.

At the same time, the new law improves the safety precautionary provisions. This revision of the Counter-espionage Law provides for a special chapter on "security precautions." Clarify the primary responsibility of state organs, social organizations, and so forth for counter-espionage security precautions. Clarify the responsibilities of relevant parties to actively carry out counter-espionage publicity and education, and specialized organs guide publicity and education activities, truly raising the public's awareness of counter-espionage security precautions and national security literacy. Clarify the security precautionary responsibilities of key units and the permit system for construction projects involving national security matters.

In addition, the new law also improves counter-espionage investigation and handling measures, and increases the powers of counter-espionage administrative law enforcement. This time the Counter-espionage Law was amended to add administrative law enforcement powers such as checking and collecting data, summonses, inquiring into property information, and refusing to allow entry and exit to the country in the chapter on "investigation and disposal"; Clarify the normative requirements for law enforcement by state security organs, strictly review and approve procedures, and achieve standardized law enforcement; Increase notification and disposal measures for discovered cybersecurity risks; Increase mechanisms for the appraisal and evaluation of state secrets and intelligence; Add provisions on the linkage of executions.

In terms of strengthening safeguards and supervision of counter-espionage work, the new law adds provisions on protection, rescue, compensation, placement, bereavement benefits, and training for relevant personnel in the chapter on "safeguards and supervision"; Provisions are added to encourage scientific and technological innovation in the field of counterespionage, giving play to the role of science and technology in counterespionage work. At the same time, strengthen oversight of state security organ staff, clarifying that state security organs shall implement internal oversight and security review systems, and clarifying that individuals and organizations have the right to report and accuse state security organs and their staff for exceeding their authority, abusing their power, and other illegal conduct. (End)