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Vietnam Focuses on Cybersecurity to Protect National Interests

Vietnam Cyber Security Law

Rapid technological development has given people more ways to access and share information on the internet. It has also created conditions for more sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Like other countries, Vietnam has a cybersecurity law to safeguard information and protect national security.

According to a recent press release, the country has recorded frequent cyberattacks on Vietnamese websites that violate security and social order.

Attackers use the internet to incite violence and acts of sabotage against society and promote a ‘color revolution’ to change the political regime.

Fake, malicious news reports have been spread on the internet to harm national sovereignty, interests, security, and the rights and interests of organisations and individuals.

The Public Security Ministry reported that about 2,500 websites with servers located abroad have promulgated propaganda against Vietnam’s party and state.

Vietnam’s Cyber Security Law, which took effect on 1 January 2019, states that internet service providers, websites, and other cross-border services must abide by Vietnamese law and respect its interests and security.

Under the Law, tech companies are compelled to store data about Vietnamese users on servers in-country.

Vietnam requires partners to cooperate and comply with the law when they do business in Vietnam. For example, by using official ID to register an account, promptly cooperating to remove fake websites using the names of party and state leaders, and permanently closing accounts that spread fake news.

The Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, requested cross-border Internet service providers to comply with the law, particularly in cases of removing false information.

Enforcement of the Cyber Security Law over the past year has helped to create a healthier cyberspace. The Deputy Minister of Public Security, Bui Van Nam, noted that the Cyber Security Law contributes to socio-economic development, national defence, sovereignty, and elevates Vietnam’s external status.

Facing real and potential risks in cyberspace, countries need to keep the management of cyberspace models up to date. Germany approved a Social Media Regulation Law that says social media services that fail to control hate speech, harassment, and fake news can be fined up to €50 million (about US $55.8 million).

Australia announced it would fine ISPs and social media websites 10% of their annual income or up to three years imprisonment for their managers for failing to remove banned content.

Egypt’s Anti-Fake News Law allows agencies to monitor individual accounts on social networks, which have more than 5,000 subscribers.

Thailand’s Cyber Security Law calls for seven years of imprisonment for people who disseminate fake news. The Philippines considers falsifying news a criminal act punishable by six months of imprisonment and a fine of US $3,000.

Singapore has approved a Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill, which stipulates that those who spread online falsehoods with a malicious intent to harm the public interest could face jail terms of up to ten years and fines of up to SG $1 million (about US $742,015).

The US Department of Commerce will ban American businesses from doing business with foreign companies that seek to harm the US.

Vietnam is a politically, socially stable country on the development path, but it has to be vigilant of potential instability, the release said. Building a healthy and safe cyberspace will protect social security and order, defend national sovereignty, and lay a foundation for sustainable development.

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