Facebook censored in Vietnam!

5 Apr

First I tried to log in using the free wifi connection in my Ho Chi Minh City budget hotel room. Facebook wouldn’t load. I figured my connection might have been too poor see the site.

A few days later I tried to log in from an internet cafe with a good fast connection. Still no luck.

I asked Alex (my permanent tech support guy) why can’t I access Facebook in Vietnam? Alex went to trusty Wikipedia for answers. Turns out that the Government of Vietnam has censored access to Facebook, along with many other local and international sites.

Wikipedia reports that the Government of Vietnam justifies net censorship by claiming this policy aims to protect the population from obscene or sexually-explicit content. However as the blocking of Facebook demonstrates, many of the blocked sites are far from X-rated but contain politically or religiously sensitive materials that might undermine the current Government’s hold on power.

For example, late last year the Government blocked Vietnamese Catholic news online after sites including the Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, Asia News, Catholic World News and Independent Catholic News covered Catholic anti-Government protests that took place across the Country.

Many Australians are unaware that the Rudd Government has shamefully progressed its policy of internet censorship. Like the Vietnamese Government, the Australian Government claims that the clean filter (where Internet Service Providers such as Telstra and iinet are required to block its clients access to the sites deemed illegal by Government) will only be used to block Australians’ access to child porn sites. But who knows what other sites the Government will decide are too dangerous or inconvenient for Australians to access? If the likes of Tony Abbot become PM, will we see access to information about abortion blocked too?

GetUp! are one group organising against this repressive policy. Visit their blog if you want more information or are keen to get involved in the campaign to preserve online freedom!

One Response to “Facebook censored in Vietnam!”

  1. Mum April 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Be careful what you say, it might come back to bite you on the bum. At least wait until you leave there before you become political.

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