Cybersecurity closely linked to state security – Chief Executive

After the first-ever meeting of the newly created Cybersecurity Committee (CC), Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng – who also acts as the committee president – expressed that cybersecurity is closely linked to ‘public security and state security’.

Local authorities enforced in December last year new cybersecurity legislation, which implied the creation of a cybersecurity committee and a Cybersecurity Incident Alert and Response Centre (CARIC).

After the meeting and according to a government announcement, Ho Iat Seng demanded that CC assist the Government of the MSAR to develop, in a ‘scientific and prescient way’, measures and policies in the area of ​​cybersecurity, so that the CARIC and entities authorities can effectively implement measures and policies and require public and private operators of critical infrastructures to strictly comply with legally established cybersecurity duties.

The new cybersecurity law mandates that private and public companies and entities operating in crucial sectors – including internet, media and communication operators, water and energy supply, banking, financial systems, and gaming – will have to enforce cybersecurity measures.

According to the statement, during the meeting, the new CE asked that supervisory entities complete the cybersecurity management activity plans for this year within two months and clarify their skills and responsibilities, in order to start oversight as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, CARIC and supervisory bodies will also need to submit progress reports to the regular CC meeting that will take place after six months.

The CC also includes as its members all five government secretaries, the Chief Executive Chief of Staff, Hoi Lai Fong, the Coordinator of the Office for Personal Data Protection, Yang Chongwei, the Director of the Judiciary Police, Sit Chong Meng, the Macau Post and Telecommunications Bureau Director, Lau Wai Meng, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Unitary Police Bureau, Leong Man Cheong.

At the same time as the new Cybersecurity Law entered into force, new administrative regulations were enforced establishing with up to three years imprisonment or a fine, the use of computer devices to simulate mobile telecommunications broadcasters.

These new regulations also stipulate that criminal investigation services may, by judicial authorization, use a copy of computer data hosted on servers outside Macau as evidence in criminal proceedings, “provided that such data is lawfully accessible or obtainable from the computer system located” in the Macau SAR.

On Tuesday the Legislative Assembly (AL) also approved a draft law that proposes to make the investigation of cybersecurity crimes under the exclusive purview of PJ.