Facebook, Google okay with Vietnam’s cybersecurity law: official

By Viet Tuan   June 16, 2018 | 02:00 am PT
Facebook, Google okay with Vietnam’s cybersecurity law: official
A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration photo by Reuters.
Representatives of tech giants raised no objections and said they would modify their strategies according to the new law, claims senior official.

Facebook and Google found Vietnam's cybersecurity law "appropriate" and did not object to it, a senior Public Security Ministry official said Friday.

Vietnam’s cybersecurity law, which was approved by a majority vote in the National Assembly on Tuesday, requires foreign businesses like Facebook and Google to store Vietnamese users’ data within the nation’s territory and provide it authorities upon receipt of written requests.

As the law was being drafted, lawmakers had reached out to Google and Facebook to discuss its provisions, said Lieutenant-general Hoang Phuoc Thuan, director of the ministry’s Cybersecurity Department.

“They said that this [law] was appropriate and that they will research to modify their companies’ strategies accordingly,” Thuan told VnEpxress.

Authorities will only ask businesses to provide users’ data when there are signs of violations of the law, Thuan said.

“Providing customers’ data to security authorities is not a violation of privacy,” he added.

Facebook Vietnam and Google were not immediately available for comment.

The cybersecurity law, which has been discussed by Vietnamese legislators since October last year, had raised concerns of MPs and experts that the country would end up violating its international commitments.

Thuan dismissed these concerns. “I have met with and listened to diplomats and they all affirmed that there are exceptions in every country.”

He affirmed that the law doesn’t affect freedom of speech; it actually protects the rightful benefits of individuals and organizations on networks.

The new cybersecurity law, which will take effect in 2019, bans internet users from organizing, encouraging or training other people for anti-state purposes.

They are not allowed to distort history, negate the nation’s revolutionary achievements, undermine national solidarity, offend religions and discriminate on the basis of gender and race.

The law also prohibits the spreading of incorrect information which causes confusion among people, hurts socio-economic activity, creates difficulties for authorities and those performing their duty, and violates the legal rights and benefits of other organizations and individuals.

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