Facebook in Trouble Again, This Time With Vietnamese Authorities

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Facebook recently found itself in trouble in Vietnam, for more than one reason. With the New Year, Vietnam rolled out new cybersecurity laws. These new laws give the Vietnamese authorities better control over IT Giants that operate in Vietnam.

Less than a fortnight after passing the new law, the Vietnamese Government has reportedly alleged that Facebook has provided a platform, on which unacceptable statements against the Vietnamese Government have been made. These comments are said to be in contravention of Vietnam’s existing laws.

The New Cyber Law in Vietnam

The present cybersecurity law requires IT Giants operating in Vietnam to have a physical office and IT infrastructure to store data locally, in Vietnam. It is no secret that the IT companies have been bypassing local regulations across various Nations, by being present, only virtually. In other words, these IT companies exist without a place of business and claim to have operations Offshore, where the servers are located.

Facebook speaks out

Facebook, currently accused of contravening the cyber laws in Vietnam, has furnished certain clarifications. According to them, certain objectionable content posted on Facebook shows the Vietnamese authorities in bad light. So they reportedly accused Facebook of having provided a platform for adverse comments against the Vietnamese authorities.

The Vietnamese authorities also stated that despite its repeated requests, Facebook did not pull down the objectionable information, nor did it furnish any useful details connected to it.

On the other hand, Facebook clarified that they have specific procedures laid down for authorities to get in touch. Unfortunately, these procedures were not followed by the concerned authorities.

Facebook stated

“We review all these requests against our terms of service and local law. We are transparent about the content restrictions we make in accordance with local law in our Transparency Report.”

Although comments on politicians and governments would be ok to an extent in most democratic countries, things appear to be otherwise in Vietnam.  Several IT Giants and Activists have stated this to be in violation of the freedom of speech and expression, in Vietnam. On the other hand, the Vietnamese authorities have raised concerns pertaining to the revenue lost in the form of taxes, citing reasons in support of its new legislation.

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