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Freedom of speech: Vietnam's control law over social media interaction receives criticism from the US

The new law issued in Vietnam to restrict the communication about current affairs has been deemed by the US as opposing fundamental freedoms, reports the BBC.

Due to be enforced from September, Vietnam's Decree 72 prevents internet users from freely discussing their political persuasions. This is an attempt by the Vietnamese Government to exert more control over the lives of the country's inhabitants, no doubt founded upon its communist principles.

Under the decree, social media users will only be permitted to exchange personal information with one another. They will not be allowed to discuss opinions openly, as is often encouraged on these sites elsewhere.

As observed by the campaign group, Reporters Without Borders: "If [the decree] takes effect, Vietnamese will be permanently deprived of the independent and outspoken information that normally circulates in blogs and forums," reports the BBC.

Great concern has been expressed by US officials over the limitations and, moreover, the ramifications of the decree. It not simply restricts the purpose of the internet but, more worryingly, it further inhibits the freedom of the Vietnamese population. In the past year alone, some 46 activists have been convicted of anti-state campaigning in Vietnam. This decree demonstrates the Government's wish for a wider clamp down on any anti-communist rebels.

An additional concern arising from the implementation of the decree is that of its inevitable effect on business. Industry group The Asia Internet Coalition commented: "In the long term, the decree will stifle innovation and discourage businesses from operating in Vietnam."

It is unknown whether the concerns and oppositions expressed by the US and campaign groups will have any effect on the implementation of this new law in September.


US criticises Vietnam internet control law (The BBC)