Vietnam’s new internet law will make the economy lag

eastasiaforum.org Author: Phan Le, ANU

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) thinks it is killing two birds with one stone by passing new laws regulating data storage. But it could soon find out it has no use for two dead birds while the stone flies off and damages the economy.

In June 2017, the MoPS proposed a draft cybersecurity law that requires all foreign online service providers (including Facebook, Google and Twitter) to store their Vietnamese users’ data exclusively in Vietnamese data centres — a practice known as ‘data localisation’. Foreign tech firms would likely have Vietnamese partners run their local data centres, manage domestic service sales and handle government requests for user data. The proposal has sparked a heated debate between those who believe in its benefits and those who warn against its serious threats to economic development.

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