US lawmakers urged Alphabet Inc's Google and Facebook Not to comply with a cybersecurity law that requires storing domestic users in the country, if doing so allows the government to “improperly” seize the information.
The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, also requires foreign Internet companies to open local offices and bans the use of social networks to organize anti-government activities.
“This broad and vaguely worded law would allow the communist authorities to access private data, spy on users, Sundar Pichai and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. A similar letter from senators is expected.
The measure passed last month has been drawn by some rare dissonant from some lawmakers, government leaders and tech groups in the South-East Asian nation, who sent a petition to the legislature. Demonstrators have protested nationwide against the bill, saying it would limit free speech.
The letter urged Google and Facebook to raise the issue “at the highest levels” if Vietnam coerces them into aiding censorship, calling reports that the firms have complied in removing video and accounts “troubling”. They also asked that the US lawmakers and the State Department be told “what is being targeted and why”.
Representatives of Google and Facebook, as well as Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
The law is “hurting the country's reputation as a good place for the world to do business”, Jeff Paine, managing director of the Asia Internet Coalition, which is Facebook and Google, said in a statement. – Bloomberg