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Above photo: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaking at the ceremony. (by: Nguyen Hai) via Ministry of National Defence website, www.mod.gov.vn

Above photo: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaking at the ceremony. (by: Nguyen Hai) via Ministry of National Defence website, www.mod.gov.vn

Vietnam establishes Cyber Command to defend “national sovereignty” in cyberspace

Recently, Vietnam announced the establishment of a Cyber Command to protect military and defence information systems, as well as the nation’s important information/ data.

The Cyber Command is a unit of the Ministry of National Defence and will help the ministry implement the State management function of safeguarding the national sovereignty in cyberspace and information technology.

According to a press release from the Ministry, strong development of technology and the Internet, and the rise of the fourth industrial revolution means that cyberspace is becoming a new “territory” playing a key role in the country’s socio-economic development, defence, security and external relations. And in modern warfare the Government considers cyberspace to be as important an arena as air, ground or sea.

The Cyber Command will advise the Party and the State leadership on direction and operation of cyber warfare to achieve the best possible results. It will be engaged in research and forecasting and in proposing mechanisms, policies and organisational plans for cyberspace operations.

The Cyber Command is expected to study and apply advanced science technology and military tactics in cyber combat, and learn from the world’s latest and modern achievements on information technology and hi-tech weapons.

It will also train competent personnel who can deal with modern cyberthreats. At the same time, the Cyber Command will step up international cooperation in the area.

Speaking at a ceremony to announce the establishment of the Command, the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, asked the Cyber Command to become a loyal, disciplinary, intelligent, and clear-headed force which is strong enough to protect the national sovereignty in cyberspace. The Government leader requested the Cyber Command to coordinate closely with relevant units, such as such as the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Information and Communications.

In December, Vietnam revealed that it has developed a new, 10,000-strong military cyber warfare unit to counter “wrong” views on the Internet. The cyber unit, named Force 47, is already in operation in several sectors, Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Lieutenant General Nguyen Trong Nghia, deputy head of the military’s political department, as saying at a conference of the Central Propaganda Department on Monday in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to a news report in state media outlet, Việt Nam News, in 2016, Vietnam detected 135,190 cyberattacks, three times more than in 2015. The country’s parliament is debating a new law on cybersecurity, which seeks to address inadequacies in the existing 12-year-old legislation. Provisions in the draft law require suppliers of telecoms services and internet services to establish mechanisms to verify personal information of users when they create an account to ensure confidential authentication of the information. The suppliers would also have to provide the information to cyber security agencies. The draft law also requires the draft law requires foreign suppliers of telecom services and internet services to obtain operation licences, establish a representative agency in Vietnam, and locate the server that manages Vietnamese users’ data in the territory of Vietnam.

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