HÀ NỘI – The Government is encouraging made-in-Việt Nam internet platforms to replace international giants like Google and Facebook as part of its long-term efforts to strengthen cyber security, the communications minister said yesterday.
As part of its efforts to ensure accurate information, the ministry has also convinced YouTube to remove 1,500 clips with “illegal content”, he added.
Minister of Information and Communications Trương Minh Tuấn took the stage during a Q&A session broadcast live from the National Assembly (NA)’s Standing Committee in which lawmakers fired questions at him about the spread of fake news on the internet and cyber security risks in Việt Nam.
This is the first time a Q&A session has been held during a meeting of the NASC.
The number of Facebook accounts in Việt Nam currenly stands at about 45 million, out of a population of 95 million, meaning that one in two Vietnamese has an account. Việtnamese are also among the top 10 nationalities in terms of time spent watching Youtube clips. Google is consistently the country’s number one search engine.
Vietnamese authorites, however, do not control those international sites and cannot prevent the spread of inaccurate information, slander of Vietnamese leaders or fake news that provoke enmity and hatred among people, the minister said.
Such content, though deemed illegal by the Vietnamese Government, is lawfully allowed by the countries where those kind websites are headquartered, Tuấn said, adding that it was difficult to ask those websites to remove such illigal content.
A new circular of the Ministry of Information and Communications that went into effect in February allows the ministry to take “technical measures” against any crossborder information providers should they fail to co-operate with the authorities to remove the illegal content in question.
“By April 2017 we had worked with Youtube to delete 1,500 clips containing illegal content. We will also work with a Facebook leader regarding the issue later this month,” Tuấn said. “However, these are all short-term solutions. In the long term, we need Vietnamese companies to develop our own plaforms that are capable of replacing those international websites.”
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said that Việt Nam should seek more co-operation with information providers to work out a win-win solution regarding such illegal content. “But we also need to provide true information to fight against the spins. It should be sufficient, timely and posted on the very websites that spread the false content,” he said.
On another issue discussed by lawmakers, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs reported that it had been reviewing policies designed for people who made significant contributions to the cause of national revolution, said minister Đào Ngọc Dung in the morning Q&A session.
The country has recognised over nine million revolutionary contributors, making up nearly 10 per cent of the total population. More than 1.4 million revolutionary contributors and their families are receiving monthly allowances, he noted.
The ministry reviewed the list in 2014 and 2015, and found around 28,500 cases of self-claimed contributors who had not received benefits. However, Minister Dung said the verification of those cases faces difficulties due to lack of documents as evidence, which is also the biggest problem in this field.
According to the minister, inspections so far also revealed the misapplication of preferential policies in 1,872 cases.
Regarding preparations for the 70th anniversary of the War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27), Dung said various activities will be held to mark the event, including a meeting in Hà Nội, a national conference to honour people who rendered services to the revolution, and commemorative and incense-offering ceremonies at cemeteries of fallen soldiers nationwide.