New Vietnam law cracks down on online free speech, will jail or fine critics who “oppose the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”


In a decision that brings up the dystopian world of 1984, the Vietnamese government now has the power to jail or fine its citizens which criticize it.

The law in question is called Decree 72. Aside from sounding like something the Emperor in Star Wars would create, it gives the government the right to fine its citizens 100 million dong, which equates to around $5,000 USD, for posting so-called anti-Vietnam comments on the web. The bill states that it can do so if their citizens are “abusing the provision and use of the Internet and information on the web,” or make comments which “oppose the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” and “undermining the fine customs and traditions of the nation.”

It also gives them the “right” to jail those whose comments they consider to be criminal. Specific details on what sort of comments constitute imprisonment were not made clear.

This is not the first time that Vietnam has garnered scorn for its censorship policies. Back in 2009 it banned Facebook, as well as other websites. More recently any discussion of news or current affairs by bloggers, or anyone commenting online, for that matter, has also been banned too.

[via All Things D, image via mariachily’s flickr]

Related Posts