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By The Associated Press

China's legislature passed sweeping legislation on Wednesday that reinforces government controls over cyberspace, as the nation's leaders try to address what they see as growing threats to Chinese networks and national security.

The vaguely worded National Security Law is one of several new regulatory moves by China that worry privacy advocates and have foreign businesses concerned about potential harm to their operations inside the country.

The law calls for strengthened management over the web and tougher measures against online attacks, theft of secrets, and the spread of illegal or harmful information.

It said core information technology, critical infrastructure and important systems and data must be "secure and controllable" in order to protect China's sovereignty over its cyberspace.

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The law offered no details on how China would achieve the goals, although a vast government Internet monitoring system has been in place for years. China says it is a major target of hacking and other cyberattacks, and the ruling Communist Party has expended vast efforts in blocking online content it deems subversive or illegal.

China is also accused of running a state-sponsored effort to hack computers and steal government and commercial secrets overseas, while also spying on and harassing pro-democracy, Tibetan and human rights groups based abroad.