By Raïssa Robles
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has just issued a decree banning the sharing of news articles on blogs and social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
According to an Agence France Presse report, the decree stipulates that these Internet sites should only be used “to provide and exchange personal information.”
VNExpress, a state-run news site, quoted Hoang Vinh Bao, the government’s head for the Department of Radio, TV and Electronic Information, as saying that netizens would be barred starting September from quoting “general information … information from newspapers, press agencies or other state-owned websites.”
The reason behind these moves is to enable netizens to “find correct and clean information on the internet,” according to Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang.
To this end, foreign Internet Service Providers can also no longer provide “information that is against Vietnam, undermining national security, social order and national unity … or information distorting, slandering and defaming the prestige of organizations, honor and dignity of individuals.”
Still, there are so many ways of getting around such a ban. But in Vietnam, if you’re caught you face a harsh prison sentence.
To read the AFP story, click on this link.
Still, it sucks.
And it reminds us that freedom is such a fragile thing.
Those who have visited Vietnam are quick to praise how the country is so much economically better off than the Philippines. At least, over there, the wealth gap is not as wide as in the Philippines, they said. And much more foreign investments are pouring in, compared to our country.
But looks can be deceiving.
A growing segment of the Vietnamese people are turning to the Internet to make their sentiments and opinions known, in the hope that government officials would listen to them.
Now, state officials have put a lid on that.
Good luck to them.
Meanwhile, here in the Philippines, we are still waiting for what our government would do with the frozen cybercrime law.
i was wondering how come you didn’t write anything about the PDAF scam? you are a great investigative reporter and it would help if more people keep the PDAF issue alive so that it will force the government to act on it.
Love your blog.
Sorry. Still gathering data. Am finding out something interesting. But need to gather more data first.
I found something interesting.
vander anievas says
i’m sure ms.raissa will soon post about that P10B lawmakers’ alleged scam
This is another example of what is to perhaps become the Balkanization of the Internet—much to be expected in light of recent NSA revelations. More countries are likely to demand a higher level of local control—such as locating servers within the country for providers such as Google—not just so the governments can control what their citizens have access to, but also so it can better insure the security of its own computer systems.
I’m amazed to live in the time of the Internet explosion…but I fear I may live to see the day when a true World Wide Web is a thing of the past, the memory of yet another golden age.
That day will come… soon… wait and behold
All it takes is just a massive EMP that will fry or wipe out all electronic systems…
try to watch again the GI Joes movie (part 1 & 2)… and analyse carefully the subliminal message in the movie…
but… I am not sure if it is subliminal… to me, the message appears to beExtremely Loud and Incredibly Clear…
Why do state governments do things like this? Is this the correct way of how a man should live a life? To achieve for the greater majority a peaceful and healthy life?
Limitations of life? Limited freedom? Is universal happiness achieved with limitations?
Are the guardians of a state government never tired imposing things on their people?
I cannot live in Vietnam nor in other similar states with such things after having had some beautiful ideas learned resulting in my happiness. This is the materialistic world.
Like China, Vietnam is a communist country where public internet access is widely regulated. This results to a “Bamboo Firewall” where a network security system is established to control and analyze incoming and outgoing traffic. Besides, the media sector in Vietnam is extensively regulated . I think that such situation is common in communist countries. Maybe harsher in China, Cuba and North Korea.
The Vietnamese fought and died for the kind of government they presently have. Maybe the majority of the Vietnamese favor such media and Internet control.
I have been reading Natan Sharansky’s book “The Case for Democracy” and I think he’s got me convinced that freedom in all its forms still matter a lot to people.
Sharansky did say that living a free society does not mean living in a just society — look at the Philippines, for example. But still, after our basic need for food, clothing and shelter has been assuaged, we would like to be able to voice out our thoughts and listen to other people’s ideas without fear of any retribution.
Human beings ARE social animals. So no, I don’t think the majority of Vietnamese favor media and Internet control. They MAY say they do, but doublethink has been known to exist in Orwellian societies.
Vietnamese are resurrecting Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and worst — Ho Chi Minh!