Vietnamese Govt Watchdog to Regulate Blogs

The Vietnamese government announced that it created an agency to act as a watchdog in the regulation of blogs within Vietnam.  With nearly 1.1 million blogs just inside Vietnam, I am curious to see how this agency, known as the Administration Agency for Radio, Television and Electronics Information (AARTE), will be able to regulate the large number of weblogs in this country.  The article mentions that blogs located outside of Vietnam are beyond the current regulation but from past experience, these were the blogs the Vietnamese government wanted to focus on.

Here lies the problem for AARTE.  If Vietnamese Bloggers know the government will not regulate blogs outside of Vietnam, would they not naturally create a blog on Yahoo 360 or Google Blogger?  That’s what all Western Expats do to avoid the laws here in Vietnam.  SaigonNezumi.com is located in the US, in Chicago to be exact.

Thus, if AARTE cannot control blogs outside of Vietnam under the current regulation, will they have the authority to block or filter out blogs they deem unacceptable?  Hard to say but I think this will be a tough task for this agency.

I do agree that web is more open in Vietnam.  Geocities, a banned site a year ago, is now available again.  Geocities contains a large number of anti-Vietnamese government websites.

I am curious to see how this regulation will pan out.  Even though my blog is located outside of Vietnam, will AARTE eventually ask the Saigon Bloggers to license our blogs in this country?  Who knows, lets just wait and see what happens.

Read more here -> http://english.vietnamnet.vn/politics/2008/10/806781/

  • Ken

    Well Kevin, I think you are thinking in terms of censorship. However, there has been instances that the Vietnamese government would just out-right arrest a, but not limited to, Vietnamese citizens, for bad mouthing the Vietnamese communist government. For example your may hosting your blog on a server that’s in Chicago, but we all know where you currently reside, so it’s really not that hard for the Vietnamese government to track you down if they really wanted to. You pointed out some very valid points, but I the purpose of this agency is more prevention by intimidation than censorship. I don’t know about you, but if I was living in Vietnam, I’ll be thinking about those “Cong An (Police)” officers knocking on my door before I write anything on my blog that Uncle Ho wouldn’t like.

  • I’ll be thinking about those “Cong An (Police)” officers knocking on my door before I write anything on my blog that Uncle Ho wouldn’t like.
    So funny, but maybe true in Viet Nam.
    This is a big problem when you chose to work here :). As far as possible, don’t use the word “communist”or “fascism” in the blog, because they’re synonyms.

  • hien

    kevin, you need to ask your government (the U.S) to dissolve the NED (national endowment for Democracy) angency because it’s the reason why countries like VN have to come up with these watchdog agencies to defend their national interests. We all know how U.S use different tatics to disrupt order in countries that they don’t have polìtical influence over. But if you feel your say isn’t that important in any of the U.S business then don’t panic either because the AARTE only target those who
    commit unlawful activities.

  • hien

    if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I’d like you to go find Noam chomsky writings bout U.S interventions.

  • @Hien: I got about 5 Chomsky books in my wardrobe. I will get some newest releases when I head back to the US next year.

  • Ken

    I’ll take the 5th on this one, for sake of this blog.

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