Vietnam: Cybersecurity law requiring tech companies to remove "toxic" content comes into effect

Author: Agence France-Presse, The Jakarta Post, Published on: 13 January 2019

"Vietnam's draconian cybersecurity bill comes into effect", 1 January 2019

A law requiring internet companies in Vietnam to remove content communist authorities deem to be against the state came into effect...in a move critics called "a totalitarian model of information control".

...The law requires internet companies to remove content the government regards as "toxic".

Tech giants such as Facebook and Google will also have to hand over user data if asked by the government, and open representative offices in Vietnam.

...In response to the law, which was approved by Vietnam's rubber-stamp parliament...Facebook said they are are committed to protecting the rights of its users and enabling people to express themselves freely and safely.

"We will remove content that violates (Facebook's) standards when we are made aware of it," Facebook said in an emailed statement....

Hanoi has said Google is taking steps to open up an office in Vietnam to comply with the new law.

In response to AFP's request for comment, the internet giant said it would not comment at this stage.

The law also bans internet users in Vietnam from spreading information deemed to be anti-state, anti-government or use the internet to distort history and "post false information that could cause confusion and damage to socio-economic activities".

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Related companies: Facebook Google (part of Alphabet)