Law on Cyber Security not hinder activities of people, businesses
Updated : Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:39 AM (GMT+0700)

Thefreshly-passed Law on Cyber Security will not hinder activities of people andbusinesses, affirmed Major General Nguyen Minh Duc, Director of the Instituteof Police Science under the People’s Police Academy.

NA deputies vote to approve the Law on Cyber Security - Source:VNA

Discussion regulations inthe law that require user data and important data related to national securityto be stored in the country, and all enterprises doing business in cyberspacerelated to Vietnam to establish headquarters and representative offices inVietnam, the officer said they are feasible and in line with domestic law andinternational practices. The regulations neither run counter to treaties towhich Vietnam is a party nor obstruct businesses’ operations.

According to Duc, 18countries in the world have set forth requirements for storage of importantdata within their territories. They are the US, Canada, Russia, France,Germany, China,  Australia, Indonesia, Greece, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland,Sweden, Turkey, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil.

Thus, Vietnam is not thefirst country having this regulation, he noted.

Vietnam’s commitments to WTOagreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994),the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Agreement onTrade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), as well as theComprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) also haveregulations on security exceptions that allow the respect for and protection ofnational security at the highest level.

Regarding the establishmentof representative offices, the police general said several Vietnamese laws,including the 2005 Commercial Law and the 2017 Foreign Trade Management Law andtheir guiding documents, stipulate that all foreign countries’ trade promotionorganisations must open representative offices in Vietnam. 

Google has set up some 70representative offices and Facebook 80 representative offices in countriesaround the world. In Southeast Asia, they have opened representative offices inSingapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. 

“If these businesses’operations are hindered and affected by the regulation, it is certain that theywill not open that many representatives in countries worldwide”, he stressed,adding that the regulation will also help create a fair business environment,as domestic enterprises are subject to many legal regulations from businessregistration to operation while foreign firms are not.

In addition, the regulationdoes not require storage of all data related to Vietnam and platform data oncyber space. It only targets certain types of data related to personal secretsin special cases and data related to national security as they are the assetsof citizens and the nation that need to be managed and protected, Duc said.

Besides, the regulation isnot applied to all agencies and organisations operating on Vietnam’s cyberspace but only those providing services that can be used to threaten or affectnational security. 

In reality, the lack ofmanagement of service users’ data and important national data has beenaffecting national interests and security, the general stated.

At present, hostile forces,reactionary organisations and criminals are increasing the use of cyber spaceto harm national security, social order and safety while Vietnam’s competentagencies face a lot of difficulties in investigating, verifying, tracing andhandling violations because all data are stored overseas.

Furthermore, foreignbusinesses often show little goodwill and cooperation in providing relatedinformation, thus hindering the handling of law violations.

Users’ data is an asset withunlimited usage value and an input of many economic activities that bring inhigh profits. While foreign agencies and organisations earn thousands ofbillions of dong each year from Vietnamese users’ data, the country suffers lossof tax revenue.

Therefore, the regulation ondata storage and establishment of representative offices will contribute toaddressing these problems, he noted.

Regarding the concern thatpersonal information will be leaked due to the stipulation that competentagencies must provide users’ information to the cyber security force of theMinistry of Public Security when receiving a written request, Major General Ducaffirmed that users’ information will not be revealed. 

Since their establishment,the specialised force of the Ministry of Public Security has managed data ofcitizens’ residence, identity and migration and many other fields, but no casesof information leakage have been recorded so far. 

The absolute guaranteeing ofcitizens’ personal information is both a responsibility and legal obligation ofthe force, he said, stressing that if the data is out, they will be strictlypunished under the law.

About the current cybersecurity situation in Vietnam, the general cited a report by the Vietnam ComputerEmergency Response Team (VNCERT) under the Ministry of Information andCommunications which said in 2017, information systems in the country were hitby 15,000 cyber-attacks, including 3,000 Phishing, 6,500 Malware and 4,500Deface attacks.

Last year, losses caused bycomputer viruses to Vietnamese users amounted to a record high of 12.3 trillionVND (540 million USD). In the first five months of this year, 4,035cyber-attacks were recorded in Vietnam.

With around 637,400computers controlled by bonnets, Vietnam was ranked fourth among the top 10worst botnet countries.

“Cyber-attacks can only beprevented effectively if there is a detailed and clear legal system tofacilitate the implementation of legal measures and international cooperation”,he concluded.

The Law on Cyber Securitywas approved by the National Assembly on June 12 with 86.86 percent ofvotes. 

It has seven chapters and 43articles, regulating activities to protect national security and ensure socialorder and safety on cyberspace, and responsibilities of agencies, organisationsand individuals concerned.


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