06/12/2017, 17.19
VIETNAM
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Activists slam Hanoi’s crackdown on social networking

Bill lays out penalties in communications fields for disclosing private information of individuals or organisations, and offending the prestige of government agencies, bodies or officials.

Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Social networking users could face fines of up to 50 million VND (US$ 2,200) if they violate regulations contained in a bill proposed by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

The ministry is gathering opinions from experts and government agencies for a new draft decree that clearly sets out the penalties for offenses in the fields of postal communication, telecommunications, radio, information technology, social networking and cyber security.

For the first time, a law would include regulations on the responsibility of individuals when using social networking services. However, rights activists strongly oppose it as yet another attempt by the authorities to curb freedom of expression in Vietnam.

Under the proposed regulations, posting materials online, including photos, videos and articles of a sexual or violent nature as well as disclosing private information of individuals or organisations without their prior approval would be punished, including fines ranging between 20 million VND (US$ 900) and 30 million VND (US$ 1,300).

Social networking users who provide false information or offend the prestige of State agencies, organisations and individual would be fined between 30 million VND and 50 million VND.

They could also be subjected to fines ranging from 10 million VND to 20 million VND for the use of personal information and images of other people to create new accounts. If they register personal information incorrectly, users could be fined between 2 million VND and 5 million VND.

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