Facebook Violated Controversial Cybersecurity Law, Says Vietnam

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Vietnam government complains that Facebook has violated Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law. It allows users to post anti-government comments on the platform.

Despite economic reforms and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s Communist Party retains tight media censorship and does not tolerate dissent.

the official Vietnam News Agency, citing the Ministry of Information and Communication said, “Facebook had reportedly not responded to a request to remove fan pages provoking activities against the state,”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

The report cited a market research company as saying US$235 million was spent on advertising on Facebook in Vietnam in 2018, but that Facebook was ignoring its tax obligations there.

The ministry said Facebook also allowed personal accounts to upload posts containing “slanderous” content, anti-government sentiment and defamation of individuals and organizations, the agency added.

“This content had been found to seriously violate Vietnam’s Law on cybersecurity” and government regulations on the management, provision, and use of internet services, it quoted the ministry as saying.

Company officials have privately expressed concerns that the new law could make it easier for the authorities to seize customer data and expose local employees to arrest.

In November, Vietnam said it wanted half of social media users on domestic social networks by 2020 and plans to prevent “toxic information” on Facebook and Google.

Facebook had refused to provide information on “fraudulent accounts” to Vietnamese security agencies, the agency said in Wednesday’s report.

The information ministry is also considering taxing Facebook for advertising revenue from the platform.

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