US, others criticize new Vietnamese Internet law

The law will ban bloggers from disseminating news that is hostile to the government

A new Vietnamese Internet law that will put curbs on the types of information that can be exchanged on blogs and social media was criticized on Monday by a 21-nation inter-governmental group.

The Freedom Online Coalition said Vietnam's Decree 72 "risks harming Vietnam's economy" and "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."

Decree 72 is scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1. It restricts the use of blogs and social media to the exchange of personal information. Posting of information that "harms national security" or "opposes" the government is banned. Further, it requires Internet companies and providers of information in Vietnam to cooperate with the government on enforcement of the decree.

The law has been widely interpreted as an attempt to silence the use of the Internet by government critics. Already this year, several bloggers have been jailed for postings they made online.

The Freedom Online Coalition, which includes the governments of the U.S., U.K., Germany and France, said it is "deeply concerned" about the plans.

"An open and free Internet is a necessity for a fully functioning modern economy; regulations such as Decree 72 that limit openness and freedom deprive innovators and businesses of the full set of tools required to compete in today's global economy," it said in a statement issued by the U.S. Department of State.

The group also noted that resolution 20/8, adopted by consensus by the U.N. Human Rights Council in July 2012, confirms human rights apply both online and offline and, as such, Vietnam could be in violation of its human rights obligations.

The Vietnamese decree has also been criticized by other groups that battle for Internet and press freedom.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags governmentregulationinternetFreedom Online Coalition

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?