The Ministry of Information and Communications (TTTT) is developing a Draft Decree to replace Decree No. 72/2013/ND-CP on managing, providing, and using Internet services and online information and Decree 27. /2018/ND-CP amending and supplementing Decree 72/2013/ND-CP.
Accordingly, the Draft has major changes in policies: management of general websites and social networks; Licensing the establishment of social networks and online games, providing content services on mobile telecommunications networks; Managing cross-border public information provision activities, strengthening the implementation of measures to ensure information safety and security on telecommunications networks, the Internet with specific regulations on the responsibilities of businesses providing Internet services, social networks, domestic and foreign organizations and individuals providing information online, businesses providing online video games and many other important regulations.
VCCI organized a Workshop to comment on the Draft Decree on Internet service management. Photo: H.D
At the Workshop on Comments on the draft Decree replacing Decree 72/2013/ND-CP on management, provision and use of internet services and online information issued by the Vietnam Confederation of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) coordinated with the Vietnam Digital Communications Association (VDCA) to be held on the morning of September 8, 2023 in Hanoi, said Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen, Deputy Director of the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information, Ministry of Information and Communications, Draft Decree amending and supplementing up to 86% of the content in Decree 72 and Decree 27/2018/ND-CP amending and supplementing Decree 72.
According to Ms. Huyen, the Ministry of Information and Communications has completed the draft replacement Decree, adding some new content to suit management practice, without creating new policies.
Regarding this issue, Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Deputy Secretary General and Head of the Legal Department (VCCI) said that the regulations in Decree 72 are of great interest to investors and large domestic and international corporations.
According to Mr. Tuan, Vietnam is a country with high Internet coverage with about 70% of million users, accounting for 70% of the population. Telecommunications infrastructure is especially important, directly affecting all aspects of life and business. But the internet environment is very prone to negative behaviors that spread quickly, so a control mechanism is needed.
“The role of law to manage this field is very necessary, but the problem is how to manage it, because if it is not managed wisely or managed too tightly, it can hinder the development of the current digital economy. Vietnam is a country with great potential to export digital economic products and high-value digital technology", Mr. Dau Anh Tuan stated.
Therefore, according to the VCCI representative, regulations need to be proposed in a balanced way, both ensuring the management role of the State and ensuring the development of the digital industry.
According to Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, there are still regulations that are raising concerns leading to "reverse protection", creating a burden on compliance costs for businesses, especially businesses headquartered in Vietnam, in when it is not possible to manage cross-border businesses. With such regulations, Vietnamese businesses will become less competitive, causing domestic businesses to have to go abroad to establish businesses, creating a negative effect on the Vietnamese economy.
Mr. Nguyen Quang Dong, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies and Communications Development (IPS), said that the Draft is expected to impact the business activities of telecommunications enterprises, renting data storage space in Vietnam.
Specifically, it increases compliance costs for Vietnamese businesses when having to arrange personnel responsible for monitoring, collecting, and detecting information that violates the law on technical infrastructure; must design a process for receiving feedback and complaints from users about content that violates the law; must re-register the sample contract for providing internet access services, etc.
Furthermore, according to the Draft, businesses must monitor and detect information that violates the law on their technical infrastructure, leading to the possibility of businesses being jointly liable with service users in case the service user posts information that violates the law but the business does not discover or recognize that the content violates the law.
Meanwhile, proactively detecting and identifying content that violates the law requires businesses to invest additional resources to fulfill their obligations because businesses do not have the expertise of judicial agencies to identify information. What is the type of information that violates the law? There is no professional investigation agency to monitor and collect evidence of information that violates the law.
Also commenting on the Draft, Mr. Vu Tu Thanh, Regional Deputy Executive Director, US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) said that the draft Decree is quite complex, has a wide scope and requires significant technical and operational changes, so there needs to be an appropriate transition period to give digital service providers time to make the necessary adjustments to their services in Vietnam.
Furthermore, data storage requirements in Vietnam for cross-border service providers have adverse impacts on security, limit innovation and increase the cost of doing business for foreign internet organizations when putting efforts to comply, leading to potentially higher costs for Vietnamese businesses to use these platforms.
From the opinions of businesses, representatives of the Ministry of Information and Communications and VCCI said they will accept comments and suggestions to continue improving the draft Decree, thereby helping to update, supplement and adjust regulations of current law on management of the provision and use of Internet services and online information in accordance with business activities and international practices.