Vietnam on Friday released a long-waited draft decree on guidelines to implement a cybersecurity law that global technology companies and rights groups have said could undermine development and stifle innovation.
HANOI: Vietnam on Friday released a long-waited draft decree on guidelines to implement a cybersecurity law that global technology companies and rights groups have said could undermine development and stifle innovation.
The draft required firms providing a range of services, including email or social media, to set up offices in Vietnam if they collect or analyse data, let their users conduct anti-state actions or cyber attack, and if they fail to remove content deemed anti-state, fake, slandering or inciting violence. Facebook and Google, both of which are widely used in Vietnam and serve as the main platforms for dissidents, do not have local offices or local data storage facilities and have pushed back on the localisation requirements.
Legislators approved the law in June, overriding strong objections from tech companies, rights groups and Western governments including the United States. Despite economic reforms and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s Communist Party retains tight media censorship and does not tolerate dissent.
The technology companies had hoped the draft decree would soften provisions they find most objectionable, including the requirements to set up local offices and store data locally.
The data required to be stored ranged from job titles to contact details, credit card information, biometric data and medical records, according to the draft decree. The type of data required seemed to have shortened from an earlier version of the draft decree seen by Reuters last month, which also included information on peoples’ ethnicity and political views.
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3 November 2018