Quantcast
Latest Stories

Vietnam to clamp down on social media news postings



HANOI – Communist Vietnam is to ban bloggers and social media users from sharing news stories online, under a new decree seen as a further crackdown on online freedom.

Blogs or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter — which have become hugely popular over the last few years in the heavily-censored country — should only be used “to provide and exchange personal information”, according to the decree.

The document, signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and made public late Wednesday, stipulates that internet users should not use social networks to share or exchange information on current events.

Social media users will not be allowed “to quote general information… information from newspapers, press agencies or other state-owned websites”, Hoang Vinh Bao, head of the Department of Radio, TV and Electronic Information, said, according to a report on the state-run VNExpress news site.

It is not clear how the law will be implemented or the penalties faced, but internet commentators said it could in theory make it illegal to share links to stories or even discuss articles published online in Vietnam’s state-run press.

The decree, which comes into force in September, also bans foreign Internet Service Providers from “providing 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”.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Le Nam Thang, said the new rules aim to help internet users “find correct and clean information on the internet,” the VietnamNet online newspaper reported.

The country, branded an “enemy of the Internet” by Reporters Without Borders in 2013, bans private media and all newspapers and television channels are state-run.

Many citizens prefer to use social media and blogs to get their information rather than the staid official press.

But the authoritarian government has repeatedly attempted to stifle growing online debate in what rights groups say is an escalating crackdown on freedom of expression.

Online commentators reacted with fury to the decree.

“This decree clearly aims to muzzle the people,” Nguyen Quang Vinh wrote on his well-read blog.

The authorities want “to turn us into robots”, wrote popular Vietnamese Facebook user Nguyen Van Phuong.

So far this year 46 activists have been convicted of anti-state activity and sentenced to often lengthy jail terms under what rights groups say are vaguely defined articles of the penal code.

At least three bloggers were also taken into custody in June alone, all accused of anti-state activity.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims 19 mins elapsed Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay 21 mins elapsed 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday 45 mins elapsed Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez 46 mins elapsed MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts 50 mins elapsed Iraqi guilty of beating wife to death in US 56 mins elapsed Avalanche sweeps Everest; 6 killed, 9 missing 1 hour elapsed Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade 1 hour elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Censorship , Facebook , News , online freedom , Social Media , Twitter , Vietnam

  • Mux

    Oh my… suddenly I feel like The Philippines is paradise compared to Vietnam!

  • pepito gwaps

    Viet numb na tuloy.

  • boboposter

    what do you expect from a PM named Dung?



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement

News

  • 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday
  • Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez
  • MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts
  • Iraqi guilty of beating wife to death in US
  • Avalanche sweeps Everest; 6 killed, 9 missing
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace