The Diplomat, Oct. 21, 2016 – Vietnam’s newly enacted cybersecurity law shows the legislative confusion of a government caught between a rock and a hard place.
On the one hand, Vietnam’s computer networks are among the most targeted for attack in the world, courtesy of rampant cybercrime and legions of Chinese hackers. The July hacking of Noi Bai Airport underlined the scale of Vietnam’s cyber woes. Investment in national cyber security efforts must increase drastically.
On the other hand, the new law makes it clear the government is antsy about citizens with the cyber savvy to encrypt their online communications. Political and media control, after all, requires the ability to monitor citizens’ online activities.
Therein lies the paradox. A citizenry largely ignorant of cyber security makes the job of hackers all the easier. Access to networks is often gained not through brute force means, but via phishing attacks that target individuals – as was likely the case with the Noi Bai Airport hack.
Citizens encrypting their online communications do not threaten national cyber security. Rather the opposite, they enhance it. But there is scant support for this notion in Vietnam’s 2015 Cyber Information Security Law, enacted on July 1, 2016. Read More
Vietnam Committee on Human Rights, PARIS, 23 July 2013 – The Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) is gravely concerned by the adoption of the “Decree on Management, Provision, Use of Internet Services and Information Content Online” (Decree 72/2013-ND-CP) which imposes new restrictions on freedom of expression online. The Decree, adopted on 15 July, will come into force on 1 September 2013. Read More
New Europe – The Vietnamese authorities are accused of an escalating assault on freedom of expression and criminalisation of bloggers and netizens in the country in a new report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights. They called on the authorities in Vietnam to halt these abuses.
According to the human rights organisations, the Internet is increasingly turning into source of independent news and a platform for civic activism in Vietnam. In addition, bloggers and human rights defenders increasingly resort to the Internet to voice their political opinions, expose corruption, and draw attention to land-grabbing and other official abuses of power. Read More
EFF – Internet Censorship watchdog OpenNetInitiative has released an updated report on the state of online freedom of expression in Vietnam and the verdict is grim. The Communist republic has placed heavy restrictions on the dissemination of information for decades, but in 2012 the government has introduced regulations that would provide new powers to censor and criminalize online speech.
Most worrying is the introduction of the Decree on the Management, Provision, Use of Internet Services and Internet Content Online draft decree aimed at regulating domestic Internet use. The 60-article document is filled with alarmingly vague language, including bans on “abusing the provision and use of the Internet and information on the web” to “oppose the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” “undermining the grand unity of all people” and “undermining the fine customs and traditions of the nation.” Read More