ICT Update: July 18, 2019

ICT Update | July 18, 2019
Authors: Riley Smith, Kim Yaeger, Ella Duangkaew, Chase Blazek
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Indonesia and Vietnam Target Illegal Mobile Phone Subscribers

On August 17, Indonesia’s Ministry of Information and Communications (KOMINFO) will sign new rules mandating automatic registration of all mobile phones in Indonesia via international mobile equipment identity numbers (IMEIs), the unique 15-digit numbers assigned to mobile phones by the manufacturer. The IMEI rules are meant to replace previous SIM card regulations that failed to stop purchases of black market phones, which make up 20% of all phones in Indonesia. Users who fail to register their IMEIs will be blocked from all cell phone networks, though WiFi capabilities will still function. Phones legally purchased overseas may be exempt, but users will still have to contact authorities and pay an additional tax.

There are data privacy concerns about disclosure of IMEI numbers because this information can personally identify customers, and service providers have the ability to tap into user data. However, doing so would violate the Telecommunications Law. Before IMEI can be implemented, KOMINFO must set up the national IMEI database (SIBINA) to receive product registrations, store data securely, and restrict illegally obtained phones from the network. Following SIBINA’s setup, the Ministry of Industry, KOMINFO, and Ministry of Trade must coordinate policy implementation, so the application of IMEI rules will take some time. Black market phones currently on the network will function normally, but any illegal phones purchased after new rules are implemented will be excluded from cellular networks. 

The Indonesian Telecommunications Services Provider Association (ATSI) supports the new rules, as they will protect profits for legitimate phone providers, but ATSI wants to ensure the new regulation doesn’t place undue burdens on operators.  Mobile operators and phone merchants may be required to submit IMEI numbers to regulators en masse, instead of requiring individual users to submit data, but the details of synchronizing this nation-wide data procurement task haven’t been finalized. American companies operating in Indonesia could be similarly burdened with compliance processes, while customers in Indonesia who import cellularly connected mobile devices may be subject to taxes and extra registration requirements.

Indonesia is not the only ASEAN country concerned about black markets for mobile phones. In the first half of 2019, Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) ejected 1.85 million prepaid mobile subscribers from cellular networks for using phones with improperly registered SIM cards. In a bid to target suppliers of illegal phones, MIC also fined four service providers, Viettel, Vinaphone, MobiFone, and Vietnamobile, for mismanaging user subscription data. These developments demonstrate that addressing the issue of illegal mobile phone usage is a growing priority for Governments across the region, and it will be critical for foreign phone and service providers to align their efforts to support this priority.

Singapore Responds to Cybersecurity Threats with Public Measures

On July 15, Singapore’s Public Sector Data Security Review Committee (the Committee) announced 13 new data protection measures that all public agencies will be required to implement.  This announcement follows a year of notorious cybersecurity incidents, including the exfiltration of health data for 1.5 million patients (including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong) from SingHealth’s databases. The new public measures include enforcing password encryption best practices, isolating sensitive data from broader datasets, standardizing data security training, and regulating public-to-private information sharing. The Committee released these measures following its inspection of information technology systems at five Government agencies, including the Ministry of Health and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. 

These inspections revealed that human errors and knowledge gaps in data security practices, not technological infrastructures, were to blame for the most egregious data breaches.  Yet many Government agencies have developed their own in-house practices for handling data security, a practice which prevents greater cybersecurity collaboration. The new measures are meant to standardize cybersecurity rules across all Government agencies, which will help manage increasingly complex data systems. The Committee’s findings are the first of many that will be submitted to the Government before the November 30th deadlines, after which Prime Minister Lee and Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean (chair of the Committee) will spearhead efforts to reshape public sector data security practices.

Aside from responding to data breaches, the Government is also testing the security of new technologies to preempt future attacks. On July 10, the Minister of Communication and Information S. Iswaran announced the formation of a Telecoms Cybersecurity Specialist team, which is tasked with gauging the vulnerability of Singapore’s telecom networks and improving cybersecurity practices in preparation for future developments in 5G technologies.  At a global level, Singapore will be joining the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts this year to deliberate on international cybersecurity norms and tackle ongoing cybersecurity issues. For American companies, the Government’s new focus on public cybersecurity signals its concern for national cybersecurity as a whole (including the private realm).  So, the regulations that come after the final Committee report on November 30 will be important to watch as they will affect the whole tech ecosystem. Furthermore, the private sector can expect the Government to release more public guidelines like the Trusted Data Sharing Framework, released on June 28, as the venues for public-private data sharing continue to grow.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Call for Input on Vietnam's Draft Cybersecurity DecreeThe Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has just shared with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi the latest draft of the cybersecurity decree (as of May 15, 2019). This draft was submitted to the government in mid-May and has been circulated among members of the cabinet for comments. Some, but not all, ministries have completed their review and comments.

    The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi is planning to send U.S. government comments on this draft to the Vietnam government by the end of July. Industry can now comment on this draft, and members are encouraged to send comments via the US-ASEAN Business Council so we can forward them to the Embassy.

    It will take several days to translate the submission and the Council will plan to submit the document to the government by August 15, 2019. Please send any initial comments or requests for the draft to Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) and Jamie Lim (jlim@usasean.org) by July 22, COB SGT.

    Here are some takeaways from the latest draft:

    Key Takeaways

    1. There is a clear procedure for take-down requests, data subpoena and suspension of operation.
    2. Localization requirements (data residency and local representative office) are only triggered if all four conditions are met, which includes clear demonstration of malicious intent or repeated failure to comply with interventions by authority.
    3. Punitive measures for violation of cybersecurity law and regulations short of criminal charges will be detailed in a separate decree.

    Call for Input on Vietnam's Regulation on Online Curated ContentEarlier this week, the Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) submitted the draft decree to amend Decree 06/2016 on Radio and Television Services. The new decree seeks to regulate Online Curated Content (OCC) such as Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) and streaming music. Members may obtain a copy of the updated decree, as well as US-ABC's past submission to MIC on amendments to Decree 06/2016, by contacting (eduangkaew@usasean.org) and Jamie Lim (jlim@usasean.org). 

      The Council is planning to submit another position paper with comments on this latest draft to the Prime Minister, Chairman of the Office of the Government, MIC minister and other relevant agencies. Please send any initial comments you may have to Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) and Jamie Lim (jlim@usasean.org) by July 22, COB SGT.

      Here are some takeaways from the latest draft.

      Key Takeaways

      1. The latest draft still contains key concerns, including:
        • A requirement that overseas businesses localize and seek an operating license from government;
        • 30% local content quota; and
        • Mandatory content editing.
      2. Process and timeline: The Office of the Government is processing the draft and will send it to members of the cabinet for review and comments. A cabinet meeting to discuss the draft has not been scheduled but the earliest it could take place is at the end of August.

      Final Submission on Singapore's Public Consultation on Proposed Data Portability

      On July 16, the Council submitted its industry submission for the second consultation on Singapore's Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) Public Consultation on Proposed Data Portabilty and Data Innovation Provisions. Thank you to all who provided input to the submission. Please contact Jamie Lim (jlim@usasean.org) or Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions or for a copy of the final submission.

      Background
      On May 22, 2019, Singapore's PDPC announced its intent to introduce a data portability requirement as part of the ongoing review of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA). The PDPC has launched a public consultation on proposed data portability and data innovation provisions. The public consultation is accessible here.

      IN THIS UPDATE
       
       
      Regional Affairs
      Tech tax set to dominate G7 finance ministers meeting
      Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G uptake even faster than expected
      DNA data storage becomes a top emerging technology

      Brunei
      Brunei sets up Digital Economy Council to explore economic potential
      Joint venture paves way for DST to expand into overseas market
      DST partners with Malaysian firm to provide broadband services to Sarawak
      Brunei’s ICT geared for faster, reliable future
      Abang Johari: Sarawak-Brunei collaboration to tap into cyberspace, tourism and agriculture

      Cambodia
      Smart Axiata, Huawei work on 5G network for Kingdom
      Grab takes on Cambodia's PassApp for ride-hailing supremacy

      Indonesia
      DPR criticizes the idea of ​​establishing a personal data protection agency
      Government drafting rule to curtail import of goods through e-commerce
      Gov't Reveals Two Challenges in Imposing Digital Tax
      Govt should develop four leading sectors to boost investment: KEIN
      Kominfo Prepares Seven Things Before Enacting IMEI Rules
      Sri Mulyani, WCO Discuss Cross-border E-Commerce
      Tax office’s new directorates to boost revenue from digital economy
      Govt ponders stamp duty bill, plans to introduce digital stamp
      Kominfo Needs Special Institutions for Personal Data Protection

      Laos
      Ministry orders registration of social media news platforms

      Malaysia
      Govt extends PSV licence deadline to Oct 12
      Digital marketing among SMEs still low
      E-wallet blooms despite security concerns
      S'wak digital economy strategy in early stages of implementation, says CM
      Broadband speed up threefold in 17 months
      Anti-Fake News Bill can be tabled after Aug 16
      MDEC to establish AI unit with local and international experts to support National AI Framework
      A devious malware called ‘Agent Smith’ secretly infected over 55,000 devices in Malaysia, one of the worst-hit in SEA
      Parliament passes Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2019

      Myanmar
      Business groups call for Myanmar to end internet shutdown
      Tender to be called to provide internet service in Mandalay’s gems market
      First ever android developers conference in Yangon
      With Myanmar’s Internet Expansion, Cybercrimes Soar
      The spyware used by Arab dictators has now shown up in Myanmar

      Philippines
      DOE finalizing smart grid policy
      Overtaxation seen driving POGOs away
      Less than half of 131 PEZA-approved IT projects to seek palace OK
      Access to free WiFi widened
      PEZA okays 131 IT centers worth P160 billion
      In Duterte’s Philippines, fears of slow internet trump fears of China
      Senators asked to prod DICT to roll back high telco fees

      Singapore
      Public raises concerns over health impact of 5G networks; Govt tracking developments
      PDPC launches new framework to bolster data protection in Singapore
      New framework for data protection officers and certifications for international data flows
      Singapore to unveil more standards for drones, additive manufacturing and video analytics
      Public service to roll out 13 measures to protect citizens' personal data following data breaches
      5G rollout: Telcos split on number of networks, individuals fear health risks
      High-level committee finds shortfalls in public sector's data security practices
      Asia’s digital economy is booming. So why is Singtel struggling?
      Start Digital initiative has helped more than 4,000 SMEs adopt digital solutions in six months
      New government team to look into cyber security in 5G and telecoms sector
      Singapore government forms digital industry office
      Plans for simplified processes in intellectual property disputes

      Thailand
      NBTC readies ratings system for August launch
      Department has IP violators in sights
      NBTC to charge conduit fees
      Digital TV channels down to 15 on Oct 1
      Top Thai bank expects digital lending to surge
      NIA supports rural innovation
      Thais give their views on what they want from an OTT service
      DE minister to establish anti-fake news centre
      Banks to ride on digital ID scheme with new services
      NBTC, DE Ministry focus on critical trio
      New reporting rule for digital asset trading

      Vietnam
      Info minister urges HCMC to speed up telecom infrastructure development
      Vietnam considers limits on foreign ownership ratio in fintechs
      Central bank warns against P2P lending
      Enterprises urged to take action amid Industry 4.0 wave
      Vihaan Networks signs pact with Vietnam to develop digital villages
      Vietnam deactivates 1.85 million illegible mobile subscribers
      Vietnam reinforces human resources for information security tasks
      VN suffered the most offline cyber attacks in all Southeast Asia
      Vietnam’s telco giants get green light for 5G tech tests
       
      ARTICLE CLIPS
       
       
      Regional Affairs

      Tech tax set to dominate G7 finance ministers meeting Malay Mail 15th Jul 2019
      A row over taxing tech giants is set to dominate a meeting of G7 finance ministers near Paris this week, with the world’s leading industrialised nations already riven by disruptive US trade policies. During the meetings Wednesday and Thursday in Chantilly, ministers are set to discuss making taxation fairer as part of wider plans by G7 leaders to address rising inequality when they gather next month in the southern French city of Biarritz.

      Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G uptake even faster than expected Manila Bulletin Technology 15th Jul 2019
      Rapid early momentum and enthusiasm for 5G has led Ericsson to forecast an extra 400 million enhanced mobile broadband subscriptions globally by the end of 2024. The June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions – up from 1.5 billion forecasted in the November 2018 edition – an increase of almost 27 percent.

      DNA data storage becomes a top emerging technology The Myanmar Times 8th Jul 2019
      DNA data storage has become a top 10 emerging technology of 2019 on this year’s World Economic Forum’s annual list released in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning province. Other technological breakthroughs with the greatest potential to make a positive impact on our world include social robots, cheaper and safer nuclear reactors and a novel way of reining in rogue proteins.

      Brunei

      Brunei sets up Digital Economy Council to explore economic potential Xinhua 15th Jul 2019
      Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah announced the setting-up of Digital Economy Council to explore the economic potential of the industry on Monday. The sultan, in a speech, highlighted the need for Brunei to further explore the digital economy, particularly in the creative industry. The sultan stressed that effort in expanding the creative industry must not only limited to the work related to preserving the nation's cultural heritage, but also in other areas that can contribute to the nation's economic diversification. According to the sultan, currently a master plan is being developed, with the aim to transform the country into a smart nation.

      Joint venture paves way for DST to expand into overseas market Borneo Bulletin Online 10th Jul 2019
      DST International Sdn Bhd (DSTI) and Sacofa Sdn Bhd signed a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) to form a strategic collaboration to bring international broadband quality to Sarawak resulting in the establishment of Data Stream Sacofa Telecommunications Alliance (DSTA).The ceremony was witnessed by Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof and Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg.

      DST partners with Malaysian firm to provide broadband services to Sarawak The Scoop 10th Jul 2019
      Brunei’s largest mobile services provider, DST, is making its first expansion outside the sultanate to provide broadband services to Sarawak, in partnership with SACOFA Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian state’s leading ICT infrastructure firm. mDST announced the new joint venture in a media statement Tuesday, released after the exchange of documents at the International Digital Economy Conference in Kuching, Sarawak.

      Brunei’s ICT geared for faster, reliable future Borneo Bulletin Online 10th Jul 2019
      The Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) are working together with Darussalam Assets and telecommunication companies (telcos), to execute a wholesale-retail transformation in placing Brunei among the digital leaders in the region. As a result, Brunei consumers and businesses will benefit from faster speed, wider coverage and better choices, at more affordable prices. Realising the digital transformation agenda, such as achieving Smart Nation, Smart City, Smart Home, Smart Society through this public-private partnership, is part of the whole of the national approach towards accomplishing Brunei Vision 2035.

      Abang Johari: Sarawak-Brunei collaboration to tap into cyberspace, tourism and agriculture Sharon Ling 9th Jul 2019
      Sarawak is exploring opportunities for collaborating with Brunei in the areas of Internet services, tourism and agriculture, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. The Chief Minister said Sarawak's ICT infrastructure company Sacofa Sdn Bhd would work together with Brunei's Datastream Technology Sdn Bhd (DST) in Internet connectivity and services.

      Cambodia

      Smart Axiata, Huawei work on 5G network for Kingdom The Phnom Penh Post 9th Jul 2019
      The Kingdom’s leading mobile operator, Smart Axiata Co Ltd, announced on Monday that it had begun 5G trials in partnership with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and may launch the mobile network later this year. Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt said the firm will continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the technology.

      Grab takes on Cambodia's PassApp for ride-hailing supremacy Nikkei Asian Review 8th Jul 2019
      Grab's push to dominate Cambodia's nascent ride-hailing market is squeezing local leader PassApp and fueling a brutal price war that has drivers caught in the middle. In a sign of how fierce the competition has become, more than 100 PassApp drivers staged a demonstration in the capital protesting fare cuts by the company. PassApp has said moves by its Singaporean rival have left it no choice but to lower prices. The drivers also delivered a letter to Grab asking it to increase its rates, according to reports. While PassApp has relied on strong name recognition -- for many, the brand is a generic word for a hailing a vehicle via an app -- Grab has at its disposal a massive war chest and a sophisticated platform offering a wide range of services beyond ride-hailing. Ride-hailing apps first emerged in Cambodia around three years ago, and more than a dozen local players quickly piled into the sector. Some have already been forced out, however, and the arrival of more overseas players -- including Singapore's Tada earlier this year -- is only increasing the competition. Should other major players come to Cambodia, such as Indonesia's Go-Jek, which is eyeing expansion, experts say it will be even tougher for local services to survive.

      Indonesia

      DPR criticizes the idea of ​​establishing a personal data protection agency Katadata 18th Jul 2019
      The Ministry of Communication and Information ( Kominfo ) proposed the establishment of a special institution for the protection of personal data . Similar institutions have been established in the European Union. However, the proposal was criticized by Deputy Chairman of Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR) Satya Widya Yudha. Satya said he did not agree with the proposal. "Because in the end there are so many institutions that are ineffective and even drain the country's finances," he said when contacted by Katadata.co.id on Wednesday ( 7/17 ).

      Discuss E-commerce, the National Association of 2 New Divisions of the Directorate General of Taxes Katadata 18th Jul 2019
      The Indonesian E-Commerce Association (IDEA) welcomes the presence of two new divisions under the Directorate General (Ditjen) of the Ministry of Finance (Ministry of Finance). This association has also sent a letter to the two sections to discuss e-commerce tax . The two new divisions are the Directorate of Tax Data and Information and the Directorate of Information and Communication Technology.

      Government drafting rule to curtail import of goods through e-commerce Antara News 18th Jul 2019
      The Indonesian government is drafting a regulation to stem the imports of consumer goods through e-commerce platforms. "We have prepared a draft government regulation, though it had yet to be finalized," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution remarked in Jakarta on Wednesday night. The regulation is deemed necessary since the import of consumer goods through e-commerce platforms is growing rapidly, he pointed out.

      Gov't Plans to Rein In E-Commerce Imports Jakarta Globe 18th Jul 2019
      The government is working on a regulation to control imports of consumer goods through e-commerce platforms, to reduce Indonesia's trade deficit. "We are preparing a government regulation, although is not final yet," Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Darmin Nasution said late on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency. He said the government currently is discussing the matter with e-commerce platforms and trade partners. 

      Indonesia prepares cross border e-commerce regulation The Jakarta Post 18th Jul 2019
      To prevent an excess of imported goods from inundating the domestic market, the government is preparing a regulation on cross-border trade through e-commerce platforms. Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said the government had been reviewing the import trend on e-commerce platforms. “The number is relatively small but the trend catches up fast,” Darmin said on Wednesday as quoted by kontan.co.id.

      The Director General of Taxes Reveals Three Challenges to Taxing Digital Companies Katadata 17th Jul 2019
      The Directorate General of Taxation is waiting for a review from the OECD, so that the imposition of taxes does not cause future disputes, especially related to foreign digital companies. MINISTRY OF FINANCE Illustration. Director General of Tax, Ministry of Finance Robert Pakpahan revealed three challenges to taxing digital-based companies. The large number of internet users makes Indonesia a potential market for technology -based companies , such as e-commerce , financial technology ( fintech ), ride-hailing , and others.

      Gov't Reveals Two Challenges in Imposing Digital Tax Tempo 17th Jul 2019
      Tax Director-General of the Finance Ministry, Robert Pakpahan, revealed two challenges the government must deal with in imposing a tax for the digital economy sector or digital tax. The tax includes various sectors from e-commerce, games, financial technology (fintech), peer to peer lending, up to cryptocurrency. “The first is how to establish fair, competitive regulation and provide legal certainty,” said Robert during his speech as a keynote speaker in an event dubbed 'Taxation on Digital Economy' at Ritz Carlton Hotel, South Jakarta, Wednesday, July 17.

      Gov't to Study Policy on Direct Imports via E-Commerce Tempo 17th Jul 2019
      The government decided to soon study a scheme to control rampant direct imports through e-commerce trade. “We are urged to prepare [a policy] to anticipate flooding of direct import,” said Trade Ministry’s Director General of Domestic Trade Tjahya Widayanti in the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs office, Jakarta, Wednesday, July 17.

      The Association Hopes that the IMEI Rules Do Not Harm Operators Katadata 15th Jul 2019
      The Indonesian Telecommunications Services Provider Association (ATSI) said all its members supported the rules of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) to eliminate illegal cellphone circulation . However, ATSI Chairman Ririek Adriansyah hopes that this regulation will not harm the operator. Therefore, he asked the government to study the impact of the IMEI rules comprehensively. "That (investment tool to block the IMEI) must also be seen, because it does not overload the industry (telecommunications) in excess," he said, in Jakarta, Monday (7/15).

      Govt should develop four leading sectors to boost investment: KEIN Antara News 15th Jul 2019
      The National Industry and Economic Committee (KEIN) has recommended the government to prioritize the development of four sectors that can become leading contributors to boost the investment climate within the next five years. KEIN Deputy Chairman Arif Budimanta noted here on Monday that agriculture, maritime, tourism, and creative economy were the four sectors.

      Importance of SIBINA, IMEI Data System Determinants of Cellphone Blocking Katadata 13th Jul 2019
      The Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) ensures that the rules of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) will not be implemented before the national IMEI database (SIBINA) information system is ready. This system will determine which cellphone unit to use will be blocked or not. Well, what is the SIBINA work scheme really like?

      Kominfo Kaji IMEI Rules for Illegal Illegal Phones Katadata 13th Jul 2019
      The Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) ensures that illegal cellphones that have circulated before the enactment of the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) rule can still be used. The government is currently reviewing several options for illegal cellphone stocks of small traders as well as those brought by Indonesian citizens (WNI) from abroad ( hand carry ).

      Kominfo Prepares Seven Things Before Enacting IMEI Rules Katadata 12th Jul 2019
      The Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) said that the signing of the rules for the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) was planned on August 17, 2019. However, this does not mean the regulation will be immediately implemented. The Director General of Post Resources and Equipment and Informatics of the Ministry of Communication and Information Ismail said the ministry had not yet determined the timing of the implementation of the regulation.

      Sri Mulyani, WCO Discuss Cross-border E-Commerce Tempo 12th Jul 2019
      Finance Minister Sri Mulyani stated that the Indonesian government officially recommended the World Customs Forum Organization (WCO) form a joint research group to focus on issues of cross-border e-commerce. “This group will facilitate a number of discussions and exchange views between members regarding cross-border e-commerce, especially its transactions,” said Sri Mulyani when opening the meeting with WCO secretary-general Kunio Mikuriya in Brussels today. 

      Tax office’s new directorates to boost revenue from digital economy The Jakarta Post 9th Jul 2019
      Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Monday announced the establishment of two directorates under the ministry’s Taxation Directorate General in trying to boost revenue from the digital economy. “We have learned from a number of countries. Therefore, we decided to establish a team dedicated to develop the information system,” she said after launching the operations of the information data directorate and information and communications technology directorate.

      Govt ponders stamp duty bill, plans to introduce digital stamp The Jakarta Post 8th Jul 2019
      The government is proposing a new stamp duty bill to the House of Representatives to replace the current Law No. 3/1985, which is considered outdated and is unable to cope with information technology developments. The new stamp duty bill is expected to enable the government to tax digital business documents and boost state revenue collection.

      Kominfo Needs Special Institutions for Personal Data Protection Katadata 5th Jul 2019
      The protection of personal data is of concern to many countries in the midst of today's technological developments. So even with Indonesia. The Ministry of Communication and Information ( Kominfo ) said that it needed a special institution to handle the exchange of personal data. Information and Information Technology Application Director of Information and Communication Technology, Riki Arif Gunawan, said that the institution could oversee the exchange of community data in Indonesia.

      Laos

      Ministry orders registration of social media news platforms Vientiane Times 15th Jul 2019
      Authorities have told the administrators of social media news platforms to register their accounts or pages, or they could face legal action. The warning comes after many unregistered digital news platforms have circulated fake news and disinformation on social media, which seriously misinformed people and on several occasions caused public panic. The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism last week issued an announcement requiring administrators to register their accounts with the ministry’s Media Department.

      Malaysia

      Govt extends PSV licence deadline to Oct 12 Free Malaysia Today 12th Jul 2019
      The government has announced it is allowing e-hailing drivers another three months to obtain their PSV licence, as a deadline passed today which effectively disqualified thousands of drivers. Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said enforcement officers will embark on a “soft approach” to educate e-hailing drivers on the need to apply for the commercial licence. In November, the minister had announced that e-hailing drivers were required to get the PSV licence beginning January. The deadline was extended until today.

      Digital marketing among SMEs still low The Malaysian Reserve 10th Jul 2019
      THE AmBank Group and Maxis Bhd are collaborating to push some 140,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in their database to undertake digital marketing and expand their market horizon. Digital marketing by SMEs in Malaysia is still at a very low rate and undertaken by about 20% of SMEs in Malaysia, AmBank group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir (picture) said. He said most SMEs have yet to advertise and promote their products and services online as most of them are still depending on the traditional approach of marketing their business.

      E-wallet blooms despite security concerns The Malaysian Reserve 9th Jul 2019
      THE country’s e-money market has bloomed steadily over the past few years, with an increasing number of people utilising their mobile phones as digital wallets. Mobile payments have significantly reduced the usage of cash, and most financial institutions are working on a variety of systems to migrate to e-payments progressively. According to statistics from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the e-money market had opened with a sizeable amount of RM1 billion in value and 365.6 million in volume starting from 2005.

      S'wak digital economy strategy in early stages of implementation, says CM The Star Online 8th Jul 2019
      Sarawak's digital economy strategy is now in the early stages of implementation, with various projects and initiatives being rolled out by the state government. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said one early initiative was an online identification and authentication system called Sarawak ID, which enables the public to access and use the state government's online services.

      Broadband speed up threefold in 17 months The Malaysian Reserve 8th Jul 2019
      Malaysia's average fixed-broadband speed has accelerated more than threefold in 17 months, from 22.5Mbps in January 2018 to 68.5Mbps in May 2019, which is above the global average of 59.6Mbps. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in a statement that the government’s effort in uplifting the telecommunication sector was also recognised in the World Bank report recently.

      Anti-Fake News Bill can be tabled after Aug 16 www.thesundaily.my 8th Jul 2019
      The government will have to wait until Aug 16 for another chance to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act 2018. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said since the Anti-Fake News (Abolition) Bill 2018 was first passed at the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 16 last year and subsequently thrown out by the Dewan Negara, the government had to wait for a year before tabling the Bill again.

      MDEC to establish AI unit with local and international experts to support National AI Framework The Malaysian Reserve 5th Jul 2019
      Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) is establishing an artificial intelligence (AI) unit to support the setting up of the National AI Framework, which is now more than 50% ready. CEO Surina Shukri said the unit would comprise a mix of local and international experts to ensure Malaysia is on the right track to develop an AI ecosystem in the country. She said the international experts have been identified and are ready to help Malaysia develop the industry.

      A devious malware called ‘Agent Smith’ secretly infected over 55,000 devices in Malaysia, one of the worst-hit in SEA Business Insider Malaysia 11th Jul 2019
      A dangerous new mobile malware named after The Matrix’s main villain has infiltrated more than 25 million Android devices around the world – and Malaysia was among the worst-hit in Southeast Asia, a report has revealed. On Thursday (July 11), cybersecurity software company Check Point Software Technologies’ research arm (Check Point Research) said in a news release that the malware – dubbed “Agent Smith” – automatically replaces installed apps with “malicious” versions without the user’s knowledge. The dubious software stealthily does this by disguising itself as a Google-related app and exploiting known Android operating system vulnerabilities.

      Parliament passes Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2019 www.thesundaily.my 8th Jul 2019
      The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2019 aimed at increasing the penalty on any party which fails to abide by an award made by the Consumer Claims Tribunal, was passed unanimously by Parliament today. During the wrap-up of the debate on the bill, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister, Chong Chieng Jen said the amendments to the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Act 599) would indirectly compel businesses to treat consumers more fairly.

      Myanmar

      Business groups call for Myanmar to end internet shutdown The Myanmar Times 15th Jul 2019
      Five European business groups in Yangon have signed a statement urging the Myanmar authorities to restore internet access in Rakhine and Chin states. The statement warns of the “possible reputational impact in the international community and view of Myanmar as a responsible investment destination” being wrought by the internet-shutdown.

      Tender to be called to provide internet service in Mandalay’s gems market The Myanmar Times 8th Jul 2019
      Tenders will be invited for telecommunications companies to provide internet service to the gems traders at the Mahar Aung Myay Gems Dealers’ Market in Mandalay, said Mandalay City Development Committee member U Kyaw Zaw Aung. The plan comes after a Chinese man was fined earlier this month for providing internet service unofficially at the market.

      First ever android developers conference in Yangon Mizzima Myanmar News and Insight 15th Jul 2019
      Each room is filled with software enthusiasts and newcomers who want to find out new information in the technology sector. They are spending their whole day catching up on cutting-edge trends in the real business world and reaching out to software developers both from local and global leading technology companies such as Google, LINE, Nexlabs and Wave Money.

      With Myanmar’s Internet Expansion, Cybercrimes Soar The Irrawaddy 10th Jul 2019
      As internet access in Myanmar expanded with affordable SIM cards and reliable 3G and 4G network infrastructure, between 2015 and 2018 the country recorded over 2,000 cybercrimes, according to statistics from the Home Affairs Ministry. A crime unit tasked with investigating cybercrimes was established in 2015 under the ministry, and the number of cybercrimes reported to the unit has increased year by year, said Police Colonel Nyunt Wai of the cybercrime unit. Most of the cybercrimes reported involved online fraud and online sexual violence, the police colonel said.

      The spyware used by Arab dictators has now shown up in Myanmar MIT Technology Review 10th Jul 2019
      A powerful German spyware company had its hacking tools spotted in Myanmar. One of the oldest private hacking companies around found itself in the spotlight again this week. Gamma Group, a German company that sells spyware to the highest bidder, was discovered within the last year to be spying on dozens of mobile devices in different parts of the world by the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky. Last month, Kaspersky found Gamma Group’s FinSpy malware in Myanmar. The hacking tool known as FinSpy, if successful, steals everything from text messages to emails, photos, and GPS data. It also targets secure and encrypted messengers like Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram. Those apps, often used for their exceptional security against hackers at a distance, offer little protection against malware that’s successfully executed on a target’s phone.

      Philippines

      DOE finalizing smart grid policy philstar.com 15th Jul 2019
      The Department of Energy (DOE) is finalizing the country’s smart grid policy and roadmap to help further bring down power rates and to address modern challenges in the power sector. The DOE has issued the draft department circular titled “Providing a National Smart Grid Policy Framework for the Philippine Electric Power Industry and Roadpmap for Distribution Utilities” as it seeks industry input for the new policy.

      Overtaxation seen driving POGOs away Business World 15th Jul 2019
      The government runs the risk of losing investment from the online gaming industry if it stiffens regulation and raises tax rates, industry analyst Asia Gaming Brief said. “A lot of companies perhaps, are feeling the pinch of increased regulation, increased taxes, pressure from different government agencies… They may be moving some of their operations out of the Philippines to other jurisdictions,” Rosalind Wade, AGB Managing Director, said in a briefing late Saturday.

      Less than half of 131 PEZA-approved IT projects to seek palace OK Business World 15th Jul 2019
      Less than half of the 131 information technology (IT) projects in Metro Manila approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) are expected to move forward with their applications for economic zone status, following the freeze on economic zone applications for locations in the capital. Administrative Order (AO) No. 18 or “Accelerating rural progress through robust development of special economic zones in the countryside,” which took effect in June, intends to strengthen economic growth in the countryside and suspended the processing of applications for economic zones in Metro Manila.

      Access to free WiFi widened philstar.com 14th Jul 2019
      The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is ramping up the deployment of faster and free WiFi access to public hospitals as part of its program to provide free internet access nationwide. Information and Communications Technology Gregorio Honasan on Friday inaugurated free WiFi access points in three more public hospitals in Quezon City, namely the V. Luna Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

      PEZA okays 131 IT centers worth P160 billion Manila Bulletin Business 14th Jul 2019
      The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said they have approved 131 IT Parks/Centers developer projects locating in Metro Manila as of June this year with combined investments of P159.435 billion, but said that only half of these may be able to vie for a PEZA status as most of these office spaces may have been leased out already to online gaming operators.

      In Duterte’s Philippines, fears of slow internet trump fears of China South China Morning Post 13th Jul 2019
      From super-wired Singapore to bandwidth-guzzling Indonesia, consolidation has become the No 1 buzzword in Southeast Asian telecoms circles, as the industry reels from crimping revenue streams and the seemingly unending capital expenses needed to keep up with the latest technology. The consensus thinking is that, by reducing the number of players through mergers, the sector’s margins will improve, allowing it to face the hefty cost of rolling out the next-generation 5G technology without facing too much pain.

      Senators asked to prod DICT to roll back high telco fees BusinessMirror 12th Jul 2019
      THE Senate is poised to hold hearings on a resolution seeking to roll back “exorbitant” fees charged by telecommunication companies for text messages as soon as Congress convenes regular sessions on July 22. “One peso is way too much to pay for every text message you send,” Senator-elect Imee Marcos said Thursday after filing Senate Resolution 6, asserting that cheaper text messages and enforcing a strict price ceiling are “long overdue.”

      Singapore

      Public raises concerns over health impact of 5G networks; Govt tracking developments TODAYonline 18th Jul 2019
      The public has voiced concerns about the health impact of the Government’s plan to roll out fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, with some urging the authorities to scrap the move or halt it until more extensive tests are done. The Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), however, has said that the ambient level of radiofrequency radiation in Singapore is “very low” and typically below international guidelines. The World Health Organisation has also found “no convincing scientific evidence of adverse health effects from very low radiofrequency exposures to populations or individuals”, the IMDA noted.

      PDPC launches new framework to bolster data protection in Singapore Singapore Business Review 18th Jul 2019
      The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) announced a new framework and the appointment of an accountability agent to advance Singapore’s goal of regional data protection and data innovation. Aspiring Data Protection Officers (DPOs) will undergo a programme patterned after the Data Protection Officer Competency Framework and Training Roadmap. The framework combines both data protection and data innovation competencies to show how a viable career progression path can be had in the nascent sector.

      New framework for data protection officers and certifications for international data flows The Straits Times 17th Jul 2019
      A new framework and training plan for data protection officers (DPOs) has been developed by Singapore's privacy watchdog to clarify their roles and develop their capabilities, in a bid to ensure companies better protect and use data. In a related move, companies based here can now apply for a pair of internationally-recognised data protection certifications that will allow them to seamlessly share data and do business faster with countries like Japan, the United States and Mexico, while being assured that their data would be protected.

      Singapore to unveil more standards for drones, additive manufacturing and video analytics Singapore Business Review 15th Jul 2019
      These standards discuss safety requirements as well as building inspection guidelines for drones. The Singapore Standards Council (SSC) will develop 40 new standards covering drones, additive manufacturing and video analytics by 2020, an announcement revealed. Also read: Shop ‘til it drops: Half of Singaporeans are ready for drone deliveries.

      Public service to roll out 13 measures to protect citizens' personal data following data breaches The Straits Times 15th Jul 2019
      The entire public service will have to conform to a common framework to safeguard citizens' personal data, beginning with 13 new measures developed after a spate of breaches in the past year. These digital measures, some of which are being put in place, aim to make databases unusable if information has been wrongfully extracted from them, detect unusual data transmissions and limit users' access rights.

      5G rollout: Telcos split on number of networks, individuals fear health risks The Straits Times 15th Jul 2019
      Some industry players want Singapore to free up more 5G airwaves while others believe one single network will be enough to share among all operators. Individuals, however, are concerned with whether radiation from the 5G radio frequency will be harmful to people's health. These were the leading responses from a recent public consultation posted on Monday night (July 15) on the website of regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

      High-level committee finds shortfalls in public sector's data security practices The Straits Times 15th Jul 2019
      Public-sector agencies have insufficient policies governing third parties handling data and there are inconsistent practices in managing data access, a high-level committee currently reviewing and strengthening data security practices across the entire public service has found. The Public Sector Data Security Review Committee, which was convened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and is chaired by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, has conducted a six-week-long government-wide stocktake of data management practices after it was announced in April.

      Asia’s digital economy is booming. So why is Singtel struggling? South China Morning Post 13th Jul 2019
      For Singtel’s chief executive officer Chua Sock Koong, 2019 was supposed to be a year to remember. She began working at Singapore’s biggest telecoms company (telco) 30 years ago, but rather than celebrating the anniversary with a bumper bonus, she took a major pay cut that sliced her yearly earnings nearly in half, to S$3.54 million. That rude shock came after Singtel reported its net profits had fallen 43 per cent to S$3.1 billion in the year to March – a 16-year low for the firm.

      Start Digital initiative has helped more than 4,000 SMEs adopt digital solutions in six months The Straits Times 10th Jul 2019
      More than 4,000 fledgling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have tapped the Start Digital initiative to digitalise their businesses since the programme was launched in January. An initiative of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore, Start Digital allows new SMEs to take up two digital solutions that run for at least 18 months, with the Government bearing the costs for a minimum of six months.

      New government team to look into cyber security in 5G and telecoms sector The Straits Times 10th Jul 2019
      A specialised team will be formed to look into the security of Singapore's telecoms ecosystem, to bolster its defences against attackers and prepare for the roll-out of the 5G network. This Telecoms Cybersecurity Specialist team will be working with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) to conduct cyber-security vulnerability assessments and exercises, as well as test new technologies.

      Singapore government forms digital industry office ComputerWeekly.com 9th Jul 2019
      The Singapore government has created a new office to help local technology companies tap growth opportunities in Asia-Pacific’s thriving digital economy. Called Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), the office brings together capabilities that previously resided in the Economic Development Board and the Infocomm Media Development Authority, in areas such as market access, talent development and policy-making.

      Plans for simplified processes in intellectual property disputes CNA 8th Jul 2019
      The legal process for resolving intellectual property (IP) disputes could soon become less complex and more affordable if a Bill introduced in Parliament on Monday (Jul 8) is passed. Lee Li Ying reports.

      Thailand

      NBTC readies ratings system for August launch Bangkok Post 18th Jul 2019
      The broadcasting regulator plans to unveil a new system for TV viewership ratings in August that will combine traditional forms of viewership with the more modern digital and on-demand channels, partly as a way of boosting ad revenue in the struggling digital TV industry. The new system will combine TV viewing via all platforms, including terrestrial digital TV, satellite TV and over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as YouTube and Netflix, showing the results in real time.

      Department has IP violators in sights Bangkok Post 18th Jul 2019
      The Intellectual Property Department is teaming up with leading online platforms and related parties to tackle counterfeit goods sold online. Director-general Thosapone Dansuputra said the department will have a discussion on Friday with leading online platforms including Lazada, Shopee, Facebook and Google, as well as law firms and government agencies such as the Department of Special Investigation, Royal Thai Police and the Digital Economy and Society Ministry on how to build cooperation in networking to tackle intellectual property violations against trademarks and copyrights via online platforms.

      NBTC to charge conduit fees Bangkok Post 15th Jul 2019
      The telecom regulator insists it will charge telecom operators service fees for cable conduits as part of an ongoing project to ensure that rates are fair and serve the city government's objective of putting all existing overhead telecom and broadcasting cables underground throughout the capital. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), through its wholly owned subsidiary Krungthep Thanakom (KT), has said it cannot lease cable conduits for telecoms to rent if the rates are unreasonable and conflict with the concept of infrastructure sharing.

      Digital TV channels down to 15 on Oct 1 Bangkok Post 15th Jul 2019
      The number of digital TV channels will decline from 22 to 15 on Oct 1, with the seven exiting channels receiving government compensation approved on Thursday by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). The seven channels planning to shut down will receive net compensation worth a combined 2.93 billion baht. After filling out a document for the NBTC, they will receive compensation from the regulator one day after shutdown.

      Top Thai bank expects digital lending to surge The Malaysian Reserve 15th Jul 2019
      Siam Commercial Bank pcl expects digital lending to retail customers to climb almost eightfold this year as Thailand’s biggest lender accelerates its online drive to win business. Credit card and personal loans via the bank’s mobile phone application will rise to at least 18 billion baht (RM2.39 billion) this year from about 2.3 billion baht in 2018, said co-president Apiphan Charoenanusorn.

      NIA supports rural innovation Bangkok Post 5th Jul 2019
      Under the Startup Act, the National Innovation Agency (NIA) plans to provide support to innovation-driven companies in rural areas outside Bangkok while building a workforce skilled in technology, science and research. The NIA will be under the new Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. The move aims to drive Thailand towards becoming an "innovation nation", boosting the country's economic growth and reducing economic inequality.

      Thais give their views on what they want from an OTT service The Nation Thailand 5th Jul 2019
      Brightcove, a global provider of cloud services for video, has just released its annual OTT TV market study for Asia, the Asia OTT Research Report 2019, conducted with research partner YouGov, a global public opinion and data company. The study polled 9,000 participants across nine countries in Asia, including 1,000 consumers in Thailand.

      DE minister to establish anti-fake news centre The Nation Thailand 18th Jul 2019
      Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punakanta has set out three policy fronts to pursue the Thailand 4.0 scheme. Buddhipongse said these fronts covered digital economy, digital society and digital security. The Digital Economy and Society Ministry will also set up a Fake News Center to combat fake news in the country. With the digital economy, the ministry will develop an online platform to encourage companies in the private sector to use digital technology to support their businesses. It will promote initiatives such as cryptocurrencies. It will allow users to access e-government services via a single platform.

      Banks to ride on digital ID scheme with new services The Nation Thailand 18th Jul 2019
      Thailand’s top commercial banks will roll out new financial service plans as they embrace the National Digital ID (NDID) scheme, which is expected to be officially launched in the fourth quarter of this year. The NDID is a blockchain database which stores the information of its users. The database has been developed jointly between the state-run National ID company in cooperation with 10 commercial banks in the Kingdom. The use cases in the financial sector include allowing clients to open bank accounts and make financial transactions online through digital facial identification, known in the financial sector as electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC).

      NBTC, DE Ministry focus on critical trio Bangkok Post 16th Jul 2019
      The telecom regulator plans to continue pushing ahead in cooperation with the new government's Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry on three critical projects: fifth-generation wireless broadband adoption, putting the overhead telecom and broadcasting cables underground, and infrastructure sharing between state telecom enterprises to ease 5G adoption. The auctions for 5G spectrum, use-case development and Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) projects are seen as core drivers of the overall economy in the years ahead.

      New reporting rule for digital asset trading Bangkok Post 15th Jul 2019
      Parties involved with digital asset transactions worth above 5 million baht will have to report their trades to the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo). Local digital asset exchanges will be required to report digital asset trades with a value exceeding 5 million baht to commercial banks, then the banks must report such transactions to Amlo, said acting secretary-general Preecha Jaroensahayanon. The Finance Ministry will issue an additional clause in the digital asset royal decree on the compulsory practice, expected to take effect in early August, Pol Maj Gen Preecha said.

      Vietnam

      Info minister urges HCMC to speed up telecom infrastructure development The Saigon Times 18th Jul 2019
      HCMC needs to accelerate the development of its telecom infrastructure to make sure all city residents own smartphones by 2021, said Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung at a meeting in HCMC on Tuesday. Minister Hung voiced his support for the city’s stance on technology adoption to bolster its economic growth and resolve its problems. He said the Ministry of Information and Communications regards the city as the driving force behind information and communications technology development in the country.

      Vietnam considers limits on foreign ownership ratio in fintechs VietNamNet 17th Jul 2019
      The Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIEs) has shown its concern over the government’s intention to set a limit on foreign ownership ratio in fintechs. The draft of the decree to replace Decree No 101/2012 says that the ownership ratio must not be higher than 30 percent.The allowed foreign ownership ratio in payment firms still has not been set by SBV.The capital ratios being held by foreign investors in some institutions licensed by SBV to provide intermediary payment services are higher than 51 percent.

      Central bank warns against P2P lending The Saigon Times 15th Jul 2019
      The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has told credit institutions to carefully consider signing cooperation deals with suppliers of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending services because of the high default risk, the local media reported. The central bank said in a note sent to credit institutions and foreign bank branches that the booming technology applications have boosted the growth of multiple new products and services, including P2P lending, in recent years.

      Enterprises urged to take action amid Industry 4.0 wave Voice of Vietnam 9th Jul 2019
      Local firms must prepare strategic digital transformation blueprints in line with technological changes emerging from Industry 4.0 in order to keep up with market trends, insiders have noted. A recent survey by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) indicates that up to 75 per cent of manufacturing enterprises in Vietnam have run operations based on fully-depreciated machines.

      Vihaan Networks signs pact with Vietnam to develop digital villages The Financial Express 9th Jul 2019
      Telecom equipment and solutions provider Vihaan Networks Ltd (VNL) has inked a pact with Vietnam to offer solutions for advancing rural connectivity by developing digital villages in Vietnam’s underserved areas, the company said. A visiting delegation, led by Phan Xuan Dung, MP, Chairman of Committee on Science, Technology and Environmental Affairs, Vietnam, expressed interest in connecting unserved and underserved remote villages in Vietnam through solar-based cellular and broadband solution — a similar model developed by VNL in Karenda, a village in Rajasthan, situated 80 km from Delhi.

      Three telecom providers licensed to trial 5G VietNamNet 6th Jul 2019
      The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has granted licences to telecom providers Viettel, Vinaphone and Mobifone to test 5G services, MIC Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Hung said on July 5. Speaking at a conference held by the ministry in Hanoi, theofficial said the businesses have been instructed to conduct trials of thenext-generation of mobile communications.

      Vietnam deactivates 1.85 million illegible mobile subscribers VietNamNet 6th Jul 2019
      More than 1.85 million prepaid mobile subscribers were deactivated in the first six months of the year as they were improperly registered, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). As “waste” SIMs and pre-activated SIMs are still available in the market, theministry has penalised four network service providers, namely Viettel,Vinaphone, MobiFone and Vietnamobile for violating management of subscribers’information.

      Vietnam reinforces human resources for information security tasks VietNamNet 6th Jul 2019
      At Vietnam Security Summit 2019 which took place in mid-April 2019, Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung said Vietnam would announce a national digital transformation strategy in 2019. Hung emphasized that cybersecurity is vital to successfully implement the transformation.Curently, Vietnam has CERTs in charge of coordinating rescue activities in emergencies across the country and giving warnings about computer network safety issues.

      VN suffered the most offline cyber attacks in all Southeast Asia Vietnam News Agency 18th Jul 2019
      Việt Nam suffered the most offline cyber attacks in all of Southeast Asia and the 30th most in the world in the second quarter of this year. Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Security recently revealed that by the end of this year’s second quarter, the company discovered more than 99 million offline attacks and 19 million online threats, a significant decrease compared to the same period last year. Attacks through browsers are most commonly used by cyber criminals to spread malicious code. In April-June, Kaspersky detected more than 19 million incidents, equivalent to 27.7 per cent of users in Việt Nam being attacked by internet threats. The number of online threats fell by 36.84 per cent from the same period last year.

      Vietnam’s telco giants get green light for 5G tech tests VnExpress International 8th Jul 2019
      Vietnam has become one of the earliest nations in the world to test the 5G network. Vietnam’s largest telecommunications company Viettel had announced its 5G trial and made Vietnam’s first 5G phone call in Hanoi in May and said it will expand the test in both the capital city and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s two biggest cities. The military-run company expects to launch commercial 5G services in 2020. While VNPT said it will deploy its trial in the same cities as Viettel, MobiFone will test out the technology in the cities of Hanoi, Hai Phong, and Da Nang. Last November, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung had said at a conference that Vietnam should test 5G in 2019 and ensure nationwide coverage by 2020.