Quartz: Vietnam’s Lady Gaga is pressuring Facebook to stop complying with censorship laws. “Now 34 years old, [Mai] Khoi is trying to use her celebrity to pressure Facebook to stop complying with, and instead push back against, government censorship. The singer said she became disenchanted with Vietnamese pop music because of how artists would censor themselves, leading her to spend time with the country’s dissident artists. One of them persuaded Khoi to use her platform to run as an independent candidate for Vietnam’s national assembly in 2016. She was eventually barred from the ballot, and used that publicity to get a sit down with then US president Barack Obama when he was in the country that year.”
Bloomberg Quint: Vietnam Says Google and Facebook May Have Year to Meet Cyber Law. “Vietnam is proposing to allow international Internet companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. one year to comply with a controversial cyber law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 and requires them to open local offices and store data of Vietnamese users in the country.”
VietnamPlus: Finland helps Vietnam build forestry database. “Vietnam has set up a fully integrated forestry information database under a project funded by the Finnish Government, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said at a recent conference in Hanoi. Data from forests across the country and more than 1.4 million forest owners have been integrated in the Management Information System (MIS) for sustainable management of forest resources. Forest owners are organisations, households, individuals and communities that are assigned or leased forests by the State.”
Reuters: Exclusive: Vietnam cyber law set for tough enforcement despite Google, Facebook pleas. “Vietnam is preparing to strictly enforce a new cybersecurity law requiring global technology companies to set up local offices and store data locally despite pleas from Facebook, Google and other firms, a government document showed.”
Scientific Data: An open database of productivity in Vietnam’s social sciences and humanities for public use. “This study presents a description of an open database on scientific output of Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities, one that corrects for the shortcomings in current research publication databases such as data duplication, slow update, and a substantial cost of doing science. Here, using scientists’ self-reports, open online sources and cross-checking with Scopus database, we introduce a manual system and its semi-automated version of the database on the profiles of 657 Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities who have published in Scopus-indexed journals from 2008 to 2018.”
Vietnam+: VNAT, VnTrip team up in digitalising Vietnamese tourism database. “The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the firm VnTrip recently signed an agreement on building a database of 360 degree pictures of tourism destinations.”
The New Indian Express: Vietnam activists flock to ‘safe’ social media after cyber crackdown. “Tens of thousands of Vietnamese social media users are flocking to self-professed free speech platform Minds to avoid tough internet controls in a new cybersecurity law, activists and the company told AFP. The draconian law requires internet companies to scrub critical content and hand over user data if Vietnam’s Communist government demands it.” Are new social media platforms going to rise because of activism, social change, and repressive governments? That’s a different dynamic.