Lawmakers call on Google, Facebook to push back on Vietnam cyber law

Lawmakers call on Google, Facebook to push back on Vietnam cyber law
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A group of lawmakers is pressing Google and Facebook to push back against a new cybersecurity law in Vietnam that critics say amounts to an effort by the country's communist government to crack down on political dissent.

The measure was approved by Vietnamese lawmakers last month and is set to take effect next year. It requires major tech companies, like Google and Facebook, to store user data locally and open offices in Vietnam. 

It also forces tech companies to remove content deemed offensive within 24 hours of receiving a request to do so by the Ministry of Information and Communications or Ministry of Public Security. 

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The letter, signed by members of the Vietnam Caucus, argues that tech companies have a responsibility to protect free speech and expression, and should resist demands by the Vietnamese government to censor online platforms. 

"The cyber security law does nothing to protect internet users," the letter reads. "Rather, it is a blatant effort by the Vietnamese government to crackdown on online expression by enlisting the help of leading technology companies ..."

"We urge you to live up to your stated missions to promote openness and connectivity," it adds. 

The letter is dated July 12 and was signed by 17 House members, both Republicans and Democrats. Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezAs NFIP reauthorization deadline looms, Congress must end lethal subsidies Senate Democrats warn Trump: Don't invite Putin to G-7 Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-N.J.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign MORE (R-Fla.) were expected to send the same letter on Tuesday.