Vietnam to impose new restrictions on blogging

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Vietnam has approved new regulations that will effectively banned bloggers from discussing topics that the government deemed to be “undermining national security” and opposition to the state’s views, and bring in a new requirement that would see all of their writing to personal issues, according to reports from the Associated Press and AFP.

The new regulations, obtained by the AFP, has said that all blogs must not “provide, transmit or have direct links” to any information that would violate another regulation that was introduced earlier in the year. It also bans any behaviour that “opposes the state”, “undermines national security and social order and safety”, disclose military or economic secrets or causes conflict.

The Thanh Nien newspaper had said earlier in the month that it would contact Google and Yahoo for their cooperation in “creating the best and healthiest environment for bloggers”. The new regulations will see the government provide blogging websites to report to the government every six months and to provide information about the blogger on request. Both Yahoo and Google have bowed down to pressures from fellow communist neighbour China in censoring materials, and have also given out the details of bloggers.

These new regulations is seen as an attempt to gain control of the blogging boom in Vietnam, as many find it as an alternative news source, especially since the main media output comes from the state.