Vietnam passes cybersecurity law despite privacy concerns

An estimated 70 percent of Vietnam’s 93 million people are online and some 53 million people have Facebook accounts. (AFP)
Updated 12 June 2018
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Vietnam passes cybersecurity law despite privacy concerns

HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnamese legislators on Tuesday passed a contentious cybersecurity law, which critics say will hurt the economy and further restrict freedom of expression.
The law requires service providers such as Google and Facebook to store user data in Vietnam, open offices in the country and remove offending contents within 24 hours at the request of the Ministry of Information and Communications and the specialized cybersecurity task-force under the Ministry of Public Security.
Addressing the Communist Party-dominated assembly before the vote, chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security Vo Trong Viet said the law is “extremely necessary to defend the interests of the people and national security.”
Viet said the law doesn’t contradict Vietnam’s commitments to multinational trade treaties such as the World Trade Organization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but he said there are exceptions on national security grounds.
He said requiring foreign companies to set up data centers in Vietnam may increase their operational costs, but it was necessary for the country’s cybersecurity and will facilitate the companies’ operations and user activities.
“When there are acts of violation of cybersecurity, the coordination in handling the violations will be more effective and more viable,” Viet said, without elaborating.
The United States and Canada have called on Vietnam to delay the passage of legislation.
The US Embassy said last week it found the draft containing “serious obstacles to Vietnam’s cybersecurity and digital innovation future, and may not be consistent with Vietnam’s international trade commitments.”
Amnesty International said the decision has potentially devastating consequences for freedom of expression.
“In the country’s deeply repressive climate, the online space was a relative refuge where people could go to share ideas and opinions with less fear of censure by the authorities,” Clare Algar, Amnesty International’s director of global operations, said in a statement Tuesday.
She said the law grants the government sweeping powers to monitor online activity, which means “there is now no safe place left in Vietnam for people to speak freely.”
“This law can only work if tech companies cooperate with government demands to hand over private data. These companies must not be party to human rights abuses, and we urge them to use the considerable power they have at their disposal to challenge Viet Nam’s government on this regressive legislation,” she said.
The Vietnam Digital Communications Association said the law may reduce the gross domestic product by 1.7 percent and wipe out foreign investment by 3.1 percent.
An estimated 70 percent of Vietnam’s 93 million people are online and some 53 million people have Facebook accounts.
Despite sweeping economic reforms since the mid-1980s that made Vietnam one of fastest growing economies in the region, authorities maintains tight control over almost all aspects of life including the media and religion and tolerate no challenge to the one-party rule.


Argaam named ‘digital sponsor’ for Euromoney conference

Updated 17 September 2019

Argaam named ‘digital sponsor’ for Euromoney conference

  • Argaam provides a wide range of editorial and media services for companies and banks

Argaam will participate as a digital sponsor at the 14th edition of Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference 2019 to be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh, under the patronage of Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Saudi minister of finance.

Organized by Euromoney International in cooperation with the Saudi Ministry of Finance, this year’s edition titled “Growing the New Financial Ecosystem” will focus on financial technology (fintech), as well as latest trends in the banking sector and capital market.

An exhibition will also be held on the sidelines of the conference, where several financial institutions and entities will showcase their products and services.

Being a digital sponsor, Argaam will set up an exclusive news studio at the heart of Euromoney, where it will host and conduct interviews with senior officials and executives in the finance and economic sectors to address latest developments prevailing across the Saudi market and economy.

Argaam is Saudi Arabia’s leading provider of financial data, news, and analysis on the Kingdom’s equity markets. It provides a wide range of editorial and media services for companies and banks, including real-time coverage on equities and macroeconomics in Saudi Arabia and the GCC. 

“Argaam is thrilled to invite you to visit its booth at Euromoney Saudi Arabia 2019 and explore a wide array of services provided to those interested in the Saudi and Gulf markets,” it said in a press release.

The two-day conference is one of the most important financial events in the region.

Organizers have introduced three new initiatives to create an even more interactive and informative experience for the participants, according to the conference website. The Euromoney Tech Tent will showcase regional and international fintech companies who are building the future of finance. The Euromoney Knowledge Hub will run 30-minute live briefings throughout the day — focusing on new developments in finance. Euromoney Amplify will run a live global markets simulation all through the conference — with participants being able to play the markets as either buy-side or sell-side institutions.