‘The Civil Disobedience of the 21st Century’: How Vietnamese Bloggers Evade Controls

Tue, 2013-11-12 03:23


From the article:

Being a dissident in Vietnam has always been a dangerous business, and it’s getting more so. Ranked as the world’s 8th worst country for online freedom in 2012 by Freedom House, Vietnam has seen over 50 bloggers and activists arrested already this year, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Things got even tighter for the country’s 30 million Web users when the government began enforcing the now infamous Decree 72 on Sept. 1. Among other things, the vaguely worded law bans the publishing of material that “opposes” the Socialist Republic of Vietnam or “harms national security.”

But bloggers and activists are not giving into the government’s ever growing determination to silence free speech. Instead, they’re getting smarter about the ways in which they put their messages across. Step forward Viet Tan, a pro-democracy group using its Washington, D.C.–based office to offer online lessons in evading cybersurveillance.

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