Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law could further undermine free speech, disrupt businesses

A NEW cybersecurity law in Vietnam may usher in a new era of increased online censorship, privacy-invasive data processing methods, and deprivation of internet connections for organisations and individuals who publish “prohibited” content. Critics say the law could worsen attacks on freedom of expression and negatively affect the business prospects of technology companies. Drafted by the country’s Ministry of Public Security, the law was passed by the National Assembly on June 12, 2018 despite the rare public opposition expressed by some lawyers and netizens. The legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2019. SEE ALSO: Vietnam passes law requiring Google, Facebook to reveal user data The law also places significant regulatory requirements on foreign technology companies. Similar to China’s Cybersecurity Law passed in 2017, Vietnam’s new law requires internet companies to store data locally and establish headquarters or representative offices in Vietnam. Article 26 of the law obliges foreign tech companies to: “establish mechanisms to verify information when users...


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