Vietnam Bans Free Speech Online with Decree 72

from / by Micheal Kreiger: I’ve been watching the progressive erosion of civil liberties in
Vietnam with a watchful eye for some time now. The country first
appeared on my radar due to its particularly aggressive measures against the citizenry’s gold buying. As
the progression usually goes, first a country will lash out against its
own people for buying protection against the leadership’s mismanagement
of the economy by blaming gold. Once that fails, a country will usually
then start cracking down on civil liberties.
Shortly after that we usually see the cracking of heads. It appears
Vietnam has taken a frightening and dangerous step forward in the
progression with Decree 72.

From the BBC:

A controversial law banning Vietnamese online users from discussing current affairs has come into effect.

The decree, known as Decree 72, says blogs and social websites
should not be used to share news articles, but only personal

Dozens of activists, including bloggers, have been convicted for anti-state activity in the country this year.

The new law specifies that social networking sites such as
Twitter and Facebook should only be used “to provide and exchange
personal information”.

It also prohibits the online publication of material that “opposes” the Vietnamese government or “harms national security.”

Last month the US embassy in Hanoi said it was “deeply concerned
by the decree’s provisions”, arguing that “fundamental freedoms apply
online just as they do offline”.


Oh please. The rogue leadership in the USA is one financial crisis away from trying to do the exact same thing.

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