Government set to pull cloak of anonymity from social media users

By Son Ha   May 8, 2023 | 07:15 pm PT
Government set to pull cloak of anonymity from social media users
A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Dado Ruvic
The government is drafting new regulations that will require users of social media like Facebook, TikTok and YouTube to identify themselves to reduce objectionable content online frauds and scams.

The platforms would be treated as domestic and must meet this requirement or else would be blocked, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam warned at a meeting Monday.

A new government decree on online information to be issued this year would make this mandatory with non-compliance resulting in penalties, he said.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung had said last November his ministry is working on a decree that would allow only identified social media users to live-stream.

People have been complaining about live streams that promote gambling, counterfeit goods and sexual services, and the new regulations would seek to stop users from posting "anonymously and irresponsibly," he said

The ministry is also seeking to crack down on online scams and frauds, which it said is being aided by the use of fake phone subscriptions.

The ministry will cut off services for around 1.2 million phone numbers, whose users have failed to identify themselves, many of which it suspects are criminals.

The Ministry of Public Security is also working with the State Bank of Vietnam to identify owners of payment accounts.

"With these efforts we have limited cyber frauds and crimes, as many take advantage of SIM cards and payment accounts to scam," Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Duy Ngoc said.

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