- Space Force uniforms relentlessly mocked, memed 6 Years Ago
- Man flamed after admitting he called police on Target employee over a toothbrush Today 9:10 AM
- Netflix’s ‘Vivir Dos Veces’ searches for a last chance at first love Today 8:00 AM
- Camila Cabello must do more about her racist history Today 6:00 AM
- Instagram and Facebook are reportedly blocking queer ads Friday 8:58 PM
- Review: Tyler Perry’s ‘A Fall From Grace’ is both nonsensical and utterly predictable Friday 6:48 PM
- Is Hulu censoring the Iran episode of Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’? Friday 6:05 PM
- Trump admin celebrates Michelle Obama’s birthday by proposing rollback of her signature initiative Friday 4:01 PM
- TSA apologizes after agent grabs indigenous woman’s braids, says ‘giddyup’ Friday 3:28 PM
- Blue Bell ice cream licker pleads guilty Friday 2:54 PM
- 7 fortune-telling sites for when you’re bored Friday 2:21 PM
- Governor bans sex puns on free condom wrappers Friday 2:16 PM
- Is Justin Bieber’s ‘Yummy’ video secretly about Pizzagate? Friday 1:01 PM
- Woah Vicky rips out her hair in botched cultural appropriation attempt Friday 12:30 PM
- Here’s an exclusive look at ‘Weathering With You’ Friday 11:57 AM
Vietnam just banned doing pretty much anything online
You can blog about yourself, without mentioning the news. That’s pretty much it.
In Vietnam, it’s now officially illegal to do anything online that the government might not like.
The country’s infamous Decree 72 went into effect Sunday. A wide, vague range of online activities are now technically criminal acts. It’s either a drastic misunderstanding of how the Internet works, a stunning seize of power, or both.
Quoting an outside news source is now illegal. Linking to a news site is illegal. Opposing the government on your personal blog, of course, was already illegal, and those who did so were routinely prosecuted.
Reporters Without Borders says Vietnam has imprisoned 35 bloggers, the highest number of any country besides China, which has 15 times Vietnam’s population.
The Freedom Online Coalition, a group of 21 mostly Western governments devoted to tracking free expression online, resoundingly condemned the move. In a statement, the Coalition declared that Decree 72 appears to violate a 2012 decision by the United Nations that human rights, which include free expression, apply equally online.
One of the decree’s most severe tenets is the claim that foreign websites must now include at least one server in Vietnam, so that the government can invoke legal power to access it. The practical implications of that are staggering; it’s unclear if the measure will simply lead to the government blocking access to most of the world’s websites.
Illustration by Jason Reed
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.