The Communist regime in Vietnam announced Monday that they will be requiring all social media users to verify their identity on all platforms whether foreign or domestic. The measure will be made to the current Telecommunications Law Amendment later this year.
Reuters reports that the change will enable Vietnamese law enforcement to "track down" those using social media to break the law.
According to the Voice of Vietnam, a state run news organization, the verification is an attempt to reduce the amount of cyber crimes taking place in the country, eliminate anonymous accounts, and make it easier for authorities to track down fraud accounts. The Ministry of Information identified 1.2 million phones that do not have a registered owner in the country which they fear could be used to commit crimes.
Deputy Information Minister Nguyen Thanh Lam said, "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."
He continued, "Unverified accounts, no matter on local or foreign platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, will be dealt with."
"We will approach and limit the problem of fraudsters, cybercriminals, taking advantage of high technology in the form of phone sim cards or paying for accounts and money," said Deputy Minister of Public Security Lieutenant General Nguyen Duy Ngoc.
He emphasized that an "economic support policy for the disadvantaged needs to be clarified, how to ensure their lives so that people are not taken advantage of the job migration flow and then fall into poverty. into the trap of buying and selling fraud; avoid selling your own body parts even though you know it."
The Vietnam government has been under scrutiny for its human rights record, despite being elected to the United Nations Human Rights council in November. According to Radio Free Asia, a group of human rights organizations issued a joint statement after the appointment.
"Vietnam must immediately commit to taking concrete steps to improve its human rights performance, including by releasing arbitrarily detained human rights defenders, including journalists, ensuring the rights to freedom of expression and association, and improving cooperation with international human rights mechanisms," the group said.