New Vietnam Decree Says Blogs And Social Media Must Contain Only Personal Information, Not News Reports

from the content-free-content dept

Around the world, we have been watching the gradual taming of social media, especially in countries where governments keep mainstream media on a tight leash. But even against that background, this news from the Bangkok Post about Vietnam's latest moves to censor online content is pretty extraordinary:

"Personal electronic sites are only allowed to put news owned by that person, and are not allowed to 'quote', 'gather' or summarise information from press organisations or government websites," local media quoted Hoang Vinh Bao, director of the Broadcasting and Electronic Information Department at the Ministry of Information and Communications, as saying.

The ban was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on July 15, communicated to Vietnamese press late Wednesday, and was due to come into force on Sept 1.

It also bans individuals from providing "general information" on their profiles or blogs.
That's even more extreme than China's approach, which may take down troublesome material as soon as it is put up, but at least allows the possibility of putting it up in the first place. Vietnam's rules mean that online news can only be carried by "official" channels, which are closely regulated. For everyone else, it seems, the Internet must by law become the realm of entirely content-free narcissism -- and pictures of cats.

In response, the US Embassy in Vietnam has released a statement expressing its "concerns" about this move:

Fundamental freedoms apply online just as they do offline. Decree 72 appears to be inconsistent with Vietnam's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as its commitments under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Who says Americans don't do irony?

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    "B-B-But the West does it too!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    So the only news allowed is state controlled news... congrats Vietnam, you just out China'd China itself, and probably made the USG purple with envy.

    I do have to wonder though, is this just a general move towards a dictatorship, or is the Vietnamese government planning something soon that they Very much don't want 'uncontrolled' reporting on?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Guess what you get when you have a Minister named Dung?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Dear OOTB:

    Now thatís censorship.

    Love, Techdirtís commenter community

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Bios, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    No, they don't actually. Nice try though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:51am

    Just when we thought our government was bad... Vietnam decided to cheer us up by showing us that we still aren't the worst. At least we don't go THAT far.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    Actually, the West currently dreams about doing it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    "At least we don't go THAT far."

    Yet

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    The U.S. Embassy's statement on this issue about the human and civil rights is so hypocritical that it defies all logic, considering how the United States government violates the constitutionally protected privacy rights of its own citizens under the NSA's secret spying program as was revealed by Edward Snowd3en.

    The hypocrisy of the U.S. government is really defying all logic and the United Nations should place embargoes around the United States until they start recognizing the privacy rights as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations commission on human rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    At least we don't go THAT far


    ...yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, ZP! I stepped on your line. :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    No problem!

    During my walk today, I personally read a newspaper that had a story that affected me deeply. I was (cheered/saddened/angered) by the story about (some great/sad/awful thing that happened). Here's a point-by-point account of my reaction to each sentence in the story...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Tell Me, Then Kill Me, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Inspiring creativity

    And next Vietnamese popular culture becomes known for its effective use of allegory, metaphor, and implication.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    when countries that are supposed to be democratic start censoring anything and everything, those countries that have in the past been condemned for doing it see the opportunity to not only continue but to go even further than they did previously. it seems almost as if there is a world-wide conspiracy to take out all the values that countries that until now have respected human rights associated with democratic societies. if that is the case, what sort of world are we producing? what sort of civilization is being bred? people surely wont put up with this action from countries that have always respected freedoms. that can only lead to a very bad conclusion that could easily prove more costly than those that are orchestrating this scenario, for their own benefit, can imagine or cope with. i have to ask, what price ultimate power?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    What balls

    "Fundamental freedoms apply online just as they do offline. Decree 72 appears to be inconsistent with Vietnam's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as its commitments under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

    To say this in the face of PRISM, xKeystroke, and whatever other yet-to-be-released niceties from the Snowden documents?

    Is there a contest somewhere to be the most hypocritical asshole government on the planet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re:

    well not the West, but the News Agencies would love it if you couldn't comment or point out their crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    One report button vote for the spammer.

    The US has become the laughing stock of the globe for it's unbridled hypocrisy. One one hand supporting human rights while on the other hand doing just the opposite at home.

    China originally justified setting up its Great Firewall of China by stating they needed it for copyright issues.

    I keep wondering how long we have before this nation gets its own Great Firewall and how long we have left before encryption, VPNs, and Proxies, are outlawed. I also wonder how long we have before thought crimes are made a criminal act.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Re:

    Unless you're psychic, thought police won't work too well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    ByteMaster (profile), Aug 6th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

    Special 404 or something? :)

    "Personal electronic sites are only allowed to put news owned by that person, and are not allowed to 'quote', 'gather' or summarise information from press organisations or government websites,"

    I can't believe the US Government is expressing "concerns" over this... they should support this bold and courageous stance against this widespread copyright infringement!
    [/sarcasm]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    markelsa, Aug 19th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Related topic

    licensed social worker with people and helping them with their problems whether you like giving advice or providing methods for them to help themselves, you probably should consider a social work degree or psychology doctorate program. A social science degree is what allows people to get jobs in the field of social work which can let you work with all kinds of people. You can help children, adults, the elderly, and even take a job with the government. If this sounds like your cup of tea, there are social work online programs available for you. There are also research as well as administrative positions available at mental health clinics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    heropiy, Aug 25th, 2013 @ 1:20am

    Related topic

    If you have already earned a degree in social work, now it's time to get a becoming license. There are a number of requirements that have to be met by an individual to become eligible for a social work license.social work supervision
    Social workers, who managed to complete the state licensing process, are able to demonstrate a commitment to upholding the professional codes of conduct in their field.Usually states regulate 4 main categories of social workers that include:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    quote, Oct 26th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    I don't agree his point, the personal information is important.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    techmortal, Nov 12th, 2013 @ 11:21pm

    News

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    If you feel that this website is very informative then share with your good friends.
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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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