The Hanoitimes - Foreign internet-based service providers may not be requested to host their servers in Vietnam compulsorily, the new version of Cybersecurity law said.
Instead, foreign providers like Google, Facebook or Twitter would have to save Vietnamese users’ data and show up to local authorities in case of emergency or needed, heard from the discussion at the National Assembly on January 11.
This controversial point has been previously debated at the draft law discussion months ago. The first draft law requested internet-based service providers like Google or Facebook host their servers in Vietnam for “security reason”.
As previously stated in the paragraph 4 of the Article No.27 under this draft, foreign telecom and internet services providers operating in Vietnam have to comply with the law and respecting the national sovereignty, interests and security of Vietnam; setting up representative office in Vietnam with local users from 10,000 upwards or under the request from the Vietnamese Government.
Besides, these companies have to record local users’ data within the Vietnam’s territory. However, these requirements have now been focused on data instead of the servers, informed the Minister of Public Security To Lam.
In fact, the requirement of the server location has been stated in the Decree 72 on the Management, Provision, Use of Internet Services and Information content online, however “this proposal has caused controversial due to its unprecendent”, said the Vice Minister of the Information & Communication Nguyen Thanh Hung.
In the current context of technology advancement, potential cyber attacks pose great threats to Vietnam’s security, thus, by placing the data center in Vietnam, the state agencies can timely deal with violations. On the contrary, it is difficult to control information in relation to Vietnam but coming from abroad.
The important issue is to control the inflow and outflow of information, but not the location of servers. In this regard, the government has requested the Ministry of Defense in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security to develop the national firewal, saidl Dinh The Cuong, head of the Ministry of Defense’s Department of Information Technology.
While some expressed concern over the draft Law will not help improve Vietnam’s cyber security, and create unnecessary burdens for foreign businesses. The Minister of Public Security considered local users’ database to be national assets, and stressed the nesessity for competent authority to control. As such, it is the matter of respecting Vietnam’s security and sovereignty.
The European Commission on December 2016 also regulated Facebook, Google and Twitter to revise its policies to ensure the users’ privacy, as well as removing fake news. There are also requirements to control video content in social networks such as in television, while Facebook has been banned from transfering 36 million users’ data in WhatsApp to its database.
Concluding the meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, the National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan requested the draft law to be in harmonization with Vietnam’s commitments to international trade and maintain high level of internet freedom.