Sunday, October 22, 2006

Trouble stirring online in Vietnam

With the Internet beginning to take off there, the BBC warns of fear among Internet users in Vietnam that authorities are about to clamp down on their activities. The report comments:

The internet is booming in Vietnam. Online cafes can be found in even the smallest towns.

It has given a big boost to the country's small dissident movement - allowing them to communicate with each other and with supporters abroad.

In response, the security forces have blocked access to certain websites and targeted dissidents using the net.

It all sounds eerily familiar to those who follow these things in Vietnams large neighbour to the north. It follows a report just yesterday on censorship there by the same reporter.

Back in June, Yahoo! Singapore reported (and we also posted) that there were more than 12.5 million Internet subscribers in Vietnam now. According to July 2005 estimates, there are 84.2 million people in Vietnam, so that's almost 15% of the population online - and growing fast.

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