Vietnam to require identity verification for social media users

Vietnam to require identity verification for social media users
via Hector Garcia (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Bryan Ke
May 10, 2023
Vietnam has announced its plan to make identity registration and verification mandatory for social media users to combat scams and other online criminal activities.
At the National Assembly’s Judiciary Committee session on Monday, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam announced the new plan as part of the Telecommunications Law Amendment. 
The Authority of Information Security will reportedly coordinate with the Vietnam Internet Network Information Center and the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information when local inspectors discover fraudulent behavior social media accounts.
According to Nguyen, the new law will help law enforcement catch offenders operating online, adding that those who fail to pass the verification process will have their social media accounts handled by the government or even locked.
There are times the authorities can identify social media account holders that violate the laws but cannot track them down because those criminals use cross-border applications,” Nguyen was quoted as saying, according to Reuters. Unverified accounts, no matter on local or foreign platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, will be dealt with.”
Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Duy Ngoc said the authorities’ handling of criminal activities online in the past did not perform as well as expected as culprits continue to take advantage of technological advancement.
The ministry also noted that the government will work with banks for online payment account verification to help prevent scams. 
While the new addition to the law will affect several social media platforms, the Vietnamese government announced additional plans to patrol TikTok.
The information ministry’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information said the comprehensive “inspection plan” for TikTok was prompted after the agency saw an “increase in harmful content.” The inspection will reportedly involve multiple agencies and will span the last two weeks of May.
No additional details were announced for the mandatory identity verification as the new law still has to be approved by Vietnam’s lawmakers.
The nation’s recent move to tackle online scams and other criminal activities bears similarities to how the Philippine government rolled out its mandatory sim card registration law in late 2022.
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