Facebook violate new cybersecurity law in Vietnam, users upload ‘anti-government’ posts

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Vietnam reported on Wednesday that Facebook has violated country’s new cybersecurity law as it allowed several personal accounts to post some anti-government post containing “slanderous” content on the social media platform, days after controversial legislation took effect in Vietnam’s communist-ruled country.

Despite increasing openness to the social change and economic reforms, the Communist party keeps tightening media censorship and it does not tolerate any dissent.

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

Although, Facebook also denied to a request by Reuters for comment over the issue.

News reports said that the ministry has said Facebook has allowed many personal accounts, the users of Facebook, to upload “slanderous” content-carrying posts on the platform, as well as defamation of organizations and individuals and anti-government sentiment.

It quoted the ministry as saying “this content had been found to seriously violate Vietnam’s Law on cybersecurity”, and also the country’s government regulations on the management and the use of internet services too.

The right groups and global technology companies have earlier said, at the time of taking the cybersecurity law into the effect on January 1 with including requirements for several technology firms in order to set up few local offices and store data locally, that the new law could threaten development and also could suppress innovation in the country.

Company officials have expressed their concerns over the new law saying it could make it easier for authorities to seize users’ data and expose the local employees to arrest.

According to Wednesday’s report, the agency said Facebook had declined to provide any information on “fraudulent accounts” to the country’s security agencies.

Also, the ministry is considering taxing social media-Facebook for advertising revenues from the platforms. In 2018, around $235 million was spent on Facebook only on advertising, but however, Facebook denied any of its tax obligations.

Vietnam said, in November, it wanted half of the social media users on domestic social platforms by 2020 and planned to prevent “toxic information” on Google and Facebook.

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