Omar Saleem


The desire to explore new worlds and to exchange ideas and goods should be the impetus behind the Internet, the virtual Silk Road connecting the east and west. The Chinese government considers the Internet a vital part of its modernization plans. There are millions of Chinese citizens online and that number continues to grow. China’s policy towards online privacy regulation will have a significant impact on the rest of the world. Technology has outpaced law in the arena of privacy regulation. Some scholars believe the Internet should be unregulated. Others fear that commerce will overrun privacy concerns. The sheer volume of information on the Internet makes it hard to regulate, especially in the controversial environment surrounding the issue of state regulation of the Internet. The United States and Europe have divergent views of privacy. The European Union recognizes informational privacy as a fundamental right. The U.S. construes data privacy as a matter of commerce. China recognizes a substantive privacy right and has a privacy provision in its constitution, balancing privacy against the needs of state security. In China, privacy means something different than it does in the U.S. The premature establishment of a U.S. data protection agency could disadvantage the U.S. in negotiations with China.