The Dual Foundation of Cybersecurity Legislation

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No. 10, 2021


The Dual Foundation of Cybersecurity Legislation



Zhang Yan


Various countries have hastened to enact laws to protect their cybersecurity, leading to a trend of nationalization of cyberspace. However, as this trend deepens, the contradictions inherent in the cybersecurity order become more striking. This stems from the fact that the legislative purpose of closed national legislation is difficult to achieve in the face of trans-personal, trans-national, trans-spatial cyberspace. What underlies these contradictions is the dualistic thinking of physical space vs cyberspace. The differences in the cognition of data between the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China (2016) and the Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China (2021) are heavily influenced by this line of thinking. Therefore, we need to return to the trans-personality, trans-nationality, trans-spatiality, among others, of the cyberspace itself to reflect on the current cybersecurity legislation in China. On the basis of clarifying the dialectical relationships between sovereign states and a community of shared future in cyberspace, we should establish a dual foundation of cybersecurity legislation and construct a set of fundamental norms of cybersecurity legislation containing legislative ideas, basic principles, and legislative system components.