Facebook has done it once again, it has landed itself in trouble by violating Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law by allowing users to post anti-government comments on its platform. This happened days after the controversial legislative rule was passed by the communist-ruled country which retains tight media censorship.
Amidst the strong reforms and increasing openness to social changes in Vietnam, the communist party does not tolerate dissent and has strong control over the media.
According to Vietnam News Agency, Facebook did not respond to a request made by the Ministry of Information and Communication to remove fan pages which provoked activities against the state.
A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement “We have a clear process for governments to report illegal content to us, and we review all these requests against our terms of service and local law.”
Reports say the Vietnam ministry claims Facebook has allowed users to upload posts with defamatory content which is anti-government sentiment and defamation of individuals and organizations.
According to the ministry – “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.
The latest cybersecurity law which took effect from Jan 2019 in Vietnam demands technology firms to set up local offices and store data locally. There is widespread concern amongst global technology firms and rights group that this rule might hamper the development and withhold innovation in Vietnam.
This fear is being prominent amongst most company official, though they don’t make it public. As under the law, it can be easy for the authorities to seize to seize customer data and expose local employees to arrest.
The news agency confirmed that Facebook has refused to provide information on fraudulent accounts to the Vietnamese security agencies. Other reports suggest the information ministry is also considering taxing Facebook for the advertising revenue from the platform.
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