The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), American Chamber of Commerce Hanoi (AmCham Hanoi) and Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), (“us, we”) and its members submitted a joint industry letter to the Government of Vietnam and Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) with our comments and recommendations on Decree 72 of 2013 on the management, provision and use of Internet services and online information (Amendment) (“Decree No. 72/2013 / ND-CP” or “the Draft Decree” or “Decree No. 72”).
We understand that the MIC is presently considering bringing amendments to the Draft Decree and believe that it is in pursuance to this consultation that the Ministry has reached out to stakeholders to present their thoughts on the proposal to amend the Draft Decree. However, as the country presently battles the unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, in our opinion, this time is not suited to bring in any major legislative changes. The pandemic has unleashed a range of novel issues for the digital industry which is presently directing all its efforts to provide effective communication, entertainment, logistics, telemedicine and tele-education services to Vietnamese citizens nationwide. At the same time, online service providers are trying to build solutions in these areas to ensure there is no compromise to users’ security and privacy. However, the extreme nature of the requirements in the Draft Decree will certainly force some service providers to limit offerings to Vietnam, depriving consumers and businesses of critical options and dampening competition and innovation. Therefore, more deliberation and consultation with the industry would be recommended if MIC’s intention is also to regulate the Internet using the amended Decree 72.
The Vietnamese version of the submission can be accessed here.