Technology creates debate among legislators over accusation law

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Many legislators on Tuesday worried that Vietnam cannot control all crime tips sent via email, fax and cell phones as allowed under the draft Law of Accusation.


But the National Assembly Standing Committee kept the extension in the draft law it is going to submit to the government as other deputies from the Legal Committee argued that the changes will create more convenience for the job, given the fast development of information technology.


Current regulations only allowed people to report crimes directly or by post.


Some deputies said that Vietnam's technology and human forces are not adequate to confirm the accusations, many of which might be sent as spam.


Nguyen Thi Nuong said that the means are "impractical" as the authorities would not know who is making the accusation and how true it is.


If the suggestion becomes official, the agencies receiving the tips would have to check any crime tips sent electronically, which is a difficult job given that there would be more tip arrivals following the extension.


Nuong's opposition was shared by many other deputies.


Nguyen Kim Ngan, vice chairwoman of the assembly, said "We should consider more about this."


Ngan said the accusation receiving agencies will not have enough people to check every single phone call or email.


Deputy Nguyen Van Hien, former head of Vietnam People's Supreme Court, said that each person these days can use hundreds of temporary unregistered SIM cards and the government cannot trace back the crime tip makers.


Hien also said that accusations on email can be posted on the Internet and hurt the ones being accused even before the accusations are confirmed.


But Phan Trung Ly, Chairman of the Legal Committee, guaranteed that every accusation will be managed properly.


Ly said if people have to worry about spam, traditional accusations sent by post can also be made as spam.


Dao Trong Thi, Chairman of the Culture, Education, Youth and Children Committee, also approved with the extension, as long as there are "effective measures for management."


Thi said each accusation email should have an electronic signature, which has been confirmed by the authorities.


Officials at the meeting also admitted that the draft law has not offered many terms about good protection for the accusers, although it requires that "accusers must state their full name and address."



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