by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 24th 2008 1:55pm
Vietnam has a long history of online censorship and suppression of dissent. Back in 2002, a law was put in place requiring registration with the government before creating a website, and soon after that there were reports of arrests of people for putting "questionable" material online. Given that, it's hardly surprising to find out that the country has now officially banned "subversive" blogs. Of course, I'm sure the definition of subversive is left open to whoever is enforcing the law. But what's really bad about this law, is that it puts the liability on internet service providers -- saying that they'll be held responsible for any subversive blogs that are hosted by them. It's not entirely clear how this will impact foreign blog hosting companies, but it can't be a good thing. Apparently, the Vietnamese government is specifically planning to talk to Yahoo and Google to get them to "cooperate" in "creating the best and healthiest environment for bloggers." There's been plenty of controversy for both Yahoo and Google for how they've dealt with government censorship in China, so the last thing they need is another such controversy.
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