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News Summary: China asked to improve online safety

The Associated Press

SECURITY CONCERNS: The American Chamber of Commerce appealed to China to improve online security and ease restrictions on Web use by companies, warning that deteriorating access speeds might discourage foreign investment. While two-thirds of the chamber's member companies use cloud computing, fewer than 50 percent are willing to base those operations in China.

SLOW GOING: The group suggested the Chinese government could speed up Internet access by permitting some companies to circumvent its extensive system of Web filters. The Internet is significantly slower, less reliable and less secure in China than in Europe, the U.S. and South Korea, despite China having the world's biggest population of Internet users, with 564 million people online at the end of last year.

BLOCKING ACCESS: The chamber sought repeal of restrictions imposed in 1999 on use of foreign encryption and security technology. The government encourages Web use for business and education but tries to block access to material deemed subversive using filters that slow access and prompt widespread complaints.