How Can Vietnam’s New Cybersecurity Law Secure Safety For All?
The new Cyber Security Law that Vietnam has adopted, and which will come into effect on January 1, 2019, seeks to ensure safe cyber activities for all citizens.
The new law would require all internet/telecom service providers- domestic as well as foreign providers- to eliminate sources of harmful information by endeavoring to refuse or suspend the supply of service for such sources.
Vietnam currently lacks proper data management laws; data pertaining to net users are extensively used for marketing and profit-making. Reports even say that there have been instances of such data being misused, especially for law violation-related issues and for political schemes as well. But as per the new cyber security law, internet providers would have to store in Vietnam the information they collect, use, analyze or process. This is equally applicable to domestic and foreign service providers. Foreign service providers must have a branch or a representative office in the country.
Well, the new law doesn’t stipulate that all Vietnam-related data and platform data need to be stored locally. The rule is applicable to specific kinds of data, especially personal secrets whenever necessary, data pertaining to national security etc. Such kinds of data need to be protected and managed locally only as they are properties of the country and its citizens. The law is not applicable to all agencies/organizations, but only to those that provide services that are vulnerable to abuse of which can affect national security.
There are many experts who have come up in support of the changes that the new cyber security law of Vietnam seeks to bring about. Vietnam News Agency reports- “Experts agree that the stipulation is in accordance with domestic law, international practice and it neither runs counter to international agreements to which Vietnam is a member nor hinders the operation of enterprises…Major General Nguyen Minh Duc, Director of the Police Science Institute under the People’s Police Academy, noted that there have been 18 countries in the world which require the storage of data inside their territories, including the US, Russia and China…Regarding the stipulation on representative offices, he cited existing regulations that require foreign trade promotion organisations to open representative offices in Vietnam.”
The report further says- “According to Nguyen Thanh Hong, standing member of the National Assembly’s Committee on National Defence and Security, such stipulations are necessary to protect the legitimate rights and interests of individuals, organisations and companies. Hong pointed out that preventative measures are needed to prevent social network service providers from using individuals’ information for illegal purposes, thus violating the legitimate rights and interests of individuals, organisations and businesses.”
There have been voices of apprehension and concern as well. Some feel that there could be leakage of information, especially personal information, as a result of the stipulation that all agencies should provide users’ personal information to the Public Security Ministry’s cyber security force whenever there is a written request. Some critics of the new law feel that it could lead to increased online censorship and even deprivation of internet connections for those organizations or individuals who publish “prohibited” content.
Kevin Jones951 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.