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Vietnam lawmakers demand more control of social media

Vietnam lawmakers demand more control of social media

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 14:00 GMT+7

Many Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) deputies have voiced their concerns over insecurity for users of social media, requesting tightened controls over online information to protect the users.

>> Young Vietnamese man arrested after suicide of 15-year-old girlfriend

These deputies expressed such concerns at an NA meeting on Wednesday to discuss the draft Law on Cyber Information Safety.

Nguyen Thanh Hai, a deputy from northern Hoa Binh Province, proposed that the NA adopt regulations on protecting private information on the Internet and keeping adolescents from being harmed while using social media.

As advocacy for his proposal, Hai briefed the meeting on the death of a 15-year-old schoolgirl in the southern province of Dong Nai, who killed herself by drinking weed killer on June 17 after finding that a sex clip involving her and her boyfriend had been uploaded on Facebook.

“It is possible to say that social media have contributed to driving the girl to a heartbreaking end,” Hai said.

An important issue here is what should be done by competent state agencies to prevent such regretful incidents from recurring in the future, the deputy stressed.

Another deputy, Do Manh Hung, from northern Thai Nguyen Province, told the meeting that he always feels uneasy when using social networking sites.

“Whenever I access social media, I have a feeling that I am being monitored by someone who has even been using my private information for their own purposes,” Hung said.

The lawmaker suggested that there should be specific rules on the transparency and publicity of providing services for Internet users, and on the collection, storage and use of personal information both for commercial and non-commercial purposes.   Regarding this issue, Nguyen Thi Thuong, a deputy from Hanoi, said, “In order to effectively protect personal information, it is necessary to identify acts that are considered a threat to information safety and then enforce regulations to ban such acts.”

Sharing the same view with Thuong, Pham Trong Nhan, a deputy from southern Binh Duong Province, said, “We should not ignore recent warnings from cyber security firms that Vietnam ranks first in the list of countries with users of Internet systems and computers that are most vulnerable to attacks by malicious software in the world.”

Nhan suggested that the committee which drafted the law should draw up regulations that are able to effectively protect cyber information systems in Vietnam.

There should also be rules on Internet users, data security, and personal mobile devices that are allowed to be used, Nhan added.

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