Internet companies hit by Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law

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Internet Companies Hit By Vietnam’s New Cybersecurity Law
Ho Chi Minh City traffic – Vietnam’s Internet firm could feel the heat from the new cyber control law © Arno Maierbrugger

A law requiring Internet companies in Vietnam to remove content the country’s authorities deem to be against the state came into effect January 1, in a move critics called “a totalitarian model of information control,” AFP reported.

The law requires Internet companies to remove content the government regards as “toxic”.

Tech giants such as Facebook and Google will also have to hand over user data if asked by the government, and open representative offices in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s powerful Ministry of Public Security (MPS) published a draft decree on how the law may be implemented in November, giving companies which offer Internet service in Vietnam up to twelve months to comply.

MPS has also said the bill was aimed at staving off cyber-attacks – and weeding out “hostile and reactionary forces” using the Internet to stir up violence and dissent.

In response to the law, which was approved by Vietnam’s parliament last June, Facebook said they are committed to protecting the rights of its users and enabling people to express themselves freely and safely.

“We will remove content that violates (Facebook’s) standards when we are made aware of it,” Facebook said.

Google is taking steps to open up an office in Vietnam to comply with the new law but didn’t comment further.

The law also bans Internet users in Vietnam from spreading information deemed to be anti-state, anti-government or use the Internet to distort history and “post false information that could cause confusion and damage to socio-economic activities.”

The new law has received sharp criticism from the US, the EU and Internet freedom advocates who say it mimics China’s repressive censorship of the Internet. Human Rights Watch called on Vietnam’s authorities to revise the law and postpone its implementation.

Critics also warn the new Internet law – particularly the data-sharing element – will make start-ups think twice about relocating to the country at a time when Vietnam wants to build a reputation as a Southeast Asian hub for fintechs and other startups.

 

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[caption id="attachment_32362" align="alignleft" width="300"] Ho Chi Minh City traffic - Vietnam's Internet firm could feel the heat from the new cyber control law © Arno Maierbrugger[/caption] A law requiring Internet companies in Vietnam to remove content the country’s authorities deem to be against the state came into effect January 1, in a move critics called “a totalitarian model of information control,” AFP reported. The law requires Internet companies to remove content the government regards as “toxic”. Tech giants such as Facebook and Google will also have to hand over user data if asked by the government, and open representative offices...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Internet Companies Hit By Vietnam’s New Cybersecurity Law
Ho Chi Minh City traffic – Vietnam’s Internet firm could feel the heat from the new cyber control law © Arno Maierbrugger

A law requiring Internet companies in Vietnam to remove content the country’s authorities deem to be against the state came into effect January 1, in a move critics called “a totalitarian model of information control,” AFP reported.

The law requires Internet companies to remove content the government regards as “toxic”.

Tech giants such as Facebook and Google will also have to hand over user data if asked by the government, and open representative offices in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s powerful Ministry of Public Security (MPS) published a draft decree on how the law may be implemented in November, giving companies which offer Internet service in Vietnam up to twelve months to comply.

MPS has also said the bill was aimed at staving off cyber-attacks – and weeding out “hostile and reactionary forces” using the Internet to stir up violence and dissent.

In response to the law, which was approved by Vietnam’s parliament last June, Facebook said they are committed to protecting the rights of its users and enabling people to express themselves freely and safely.

“We will remove content that violates (Facebook’s) standards when we are made aware of it,” Facebook said.

Google is taking steps to open up an office in Vietnam to comply with the new law but didn’t comment further.

The law also bans Internet users in Vietnam from spreading information deemed to be anti-state, anti-government or use the Internet to distort history and “post false information that could cause confusion and damage to socio-economic activities.”

The new law has received sharp criticism from the US, the EU and Internet freedom advocates who say it mimics China’s repressive censorship of the Internet. Human Rights Watch called on Vietnam’s authorities to revise the law and postpone its implementation.

Critics also warn the new Internet law – particularly the data-sharing element – will make start-ups think twice about relocating to the country at a time when Vietnam wants to build a reputation as a Southeast Asian hub for fintechs and other startups.

 

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