Mixed views on necessity of cyber security law

Thursday, 2017-11-23 21:38:50
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Deputy Nguyen Huu Cau of Nghe An province speaks at the National Assembly's discussion on November 23 (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – The National Assembly (NA) deputies had mixed views on the need of issuing a law on cyber security, while scrutinising the draft law on November 23.

A report on the draft cyber security law submitted by the Government reads that the law is to ensure cyber security in protecting natural security, social order and safety, as well as preventing cyber security threats, and addressing any shortcomings in cyber security protection. It also aims to institutionalise the Party’s guidelines and policies on cyber security in a full and timely manner, while keeping in line with the 2013 Constitution’s regulations on human rights and citizens’ basic rights.

Verifying the draft, the NA’s Committee for Defence and Security Affairs backed the promulgation of the cyber security law so as to protect national security and demonstrate Vietnam’s responsibility for cooperation in solving incidents using cyberspace to terrorize and damage security and peace in the world.

Some lawmakers also voiced their support for the law, stating that cyber security is now a global concern that strongly and comprehensively affects social aspects. Many countries have issued laws and policies on developing information technology and improving the capacity of preventing and countering cyber-attacks.

They noted that in Vietnam, hostile forces and criminals have used cyberspace to seek profit or sabotage, violate or threaten to violate national defence and security, social order and safety, and property of the State, agencies, organiations and individuals, especially when IT infrastructure and policies remain asynchronous and there are many loopholes in management.

Agreeing on the need to issue the law, Deputy Trieu Tuan Hai, of Lang Son province, said that Vietnam is among the countries suffering from the largest number of cyber-attacks. Existing regulations on cyber information safety are not deterrent enough to prevent violations being committed on cyberspace.

Echoing the view, Deputy Nguyen Huu Cau, of Nghe An province, said that the scope of the draft law is different from that of the existing Law on Cyber Information Safety. He analysed that the Law on Cyber Information Safety aims to protect the intactness, security and usability of information. Meanwhile, the draft law on cyber security focuses on preventing harmful information from infringing on national security, social order and safety, and the rights and legitimate interests of individuals and organisations on cyberspace.

However, Nguyen Lan Hieu, a lawmaker representing An Giang province, said that many cyber security protection measures that are regulated in the draft are similar to those in the Law on Cyber Information Safety. He asked the parliament to amend the existing laws, including the Civil Code, the Penal Code and the Law on Access to Information, in order to stop fake news. Careful consideration is necessary before the cyber security law is issued.

Sharing the same view, Deputy Nguyen Thi Kim Thuy, of Da Nang city, said that the drafting board’s reasons for promulgating the law are unpersuasive. The protection of cyber information is already stipulated in the Law on Cyber Information Safety, she noted, adding that if a particular law on cyber security is issued, other fields such as aviation and food security also need respective laws.

The ongoing fourth session of the 14th NA is the first time the draft law on cyber security has been put under consideration.