The National Internet Information Office issued the “Procedures for Administrative Law Enforcement of Internet Information Departments” to come into effect on June 1, March 23. According to the WeChat public account of “Internet Information China”, on March 23, the State Internet Information Office announced the “Regulations on the Administrative Law Enforcement Procedures of Internet Information Departments” (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulations”). It will come into force on January 1. The relevant person in charge of the State Internet Information Office stated that the purpose of promulgating the “Regulations” is to further regulate and ensure that the Internet information department performs its duties in accordance with the law, protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations, and safeguard national security and public interests.

The “Regulations” comprehensively revised the “Regulations on Administrative Law Enforcement Procedures for Internet Information Content Management” announced on May 2, 2017. It is stipulated that in the implementation of administrative law enforcement by cybersecurity and informatization departments, the combination of punishment and education should be adhered to, so that the facts are clear, the evidence is conclusive, and the basis is accurate. The “Regulations” stipulate the systems of regional jurisdiction, level jurisdiction, designation jurisdiction, and transfer jurisdiction of administrative law enforcement by the network information department, and clarify the principle of “no double penalty for one case”.

The “Regulations” standardize the administrative law enforcement procedures of the network information department. The first is to clarify the specific procedural requirements for multiple links such as case filing, investigation and evidence collection, review, decision-making, delivery, and execution, and stipulate that the network information department should record the entire process in text, audio-visual, etc. in accordance with the law, and archive it. The second is to improve the avoidance system, the hearing system and the statement and defense system of the parties to effectively protect the rights of the parties. The third is to clarify the legal review procedures, specify the scope of cases, review institutions, and review personnel that should be subject to legal review, and clarify that those who have not passed the legal review or have not passed the review shall not be subject to administrative punishment decisions. The fourth is to clarify the collective discussion and decision system for major punishment cases. For complex circumstances or major violations of administrative penalties, the person in charge of the network information department should discuss and decide collectively. The fifth is to clearly stipulate the time limit for the network information department to handle administrative punishment cases and the specific circumstances of closing the case.

The “Regulations” stipulate the implementation and supervision of administrative penalties. Clarify the right of statement and defense enjoyed by the parties in accordance with the law, as well as the right to apply for administrative reconsideration and initiate administrative litigation. It is stipulated that the national network information department shall establish the administrative law enforcement supervision system of the system according to law, and the higher-level network information department shall supervise the administrative law enforcement implemented by the lower-level network information department. The implementation of administrative penalties by the cybersecurity and informatization departments should be subject to social supervision. Citizens, legal persons, or other organizations have the right to lodge complaints or report against cybersecurity and informatization departments for imposing administrative punishments; cybersecurity and informatization departments should carefully review, and if they find mistakes, they should take the initiative to correct them.

The promulgation of the “Regulations” is of great significance for regulating the administrative law enforcement behavior of the network information department. Internet information departments at all levels should strictly implement the “Regulations”, comprehensively promote strict, standardized, fair and civilized law enforcement, so that the facts are clear, the evidence is conclusive, the basis is accurate, and the procedures are legal.