Vietnam attempts to crackdown on social media networks

TIVI Tuần-san, November 23, 2017

The Vietnam government has begun to crackdown on social media networks with the Ministry of Public Security drafting an internet security law that requires international companies to set up offices and servers in Vietnam.

This bill would allow the government to monitor the companies and what information is disseminated throughout the country.

This comes after the ministry ordered Facebook, Google and other similar sites to take down ‘toxic’ content which promoted anti-state propaganda and slandered or defamed Vietnamese leaders according to the state-run media.

Google has complied with the request; removing 5000 videos from YouTube, while Facebook has been less cooperative Minister Trương Minh Tuấn said at a parliamentary Q&A session.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said the bill goes against Vietnam’s commitments to the World Trade Organization and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

VCCI vice-chairman, Hoàng Quang Phòng, reiterated that there was no requirement for foreign companies to have a representative office in member countries.

Industry insiders said if the bill is passed, Google, Facebook, Skype and Viber would have to invest in giant servers in Vietnam to legally operate in the country which could cause them to drop out of the Vietnamese market completely.