fredag 4. januar 2019

Vietnam criticised for 'totalitarian' law banning online criticism of government

Vietnam has introduced a new cybersecurity law, which criminalises criticising the government online and forces internet providers to give authorities’ user data when requested, sparking claims of a “totalitarian” crackdown on dissent.

The law, which mirrors China’s draconian internet rules, came into effect on 1 January and forces internet providers to censor content deemed “toxic” by the ruling communist government. Vietnam’s ministry of public security said it will tackle “hostile and reactionary forces”, but human rights groups said it was authorities’ latest method of silencing free speech.

The Vietnam government has intensified a crackdown on criticism since 2016, jailing dozens of dissidents. Spreading information deemed to be anti-government or anti-state online is now illegal in the country, as is using the internet to “post false information that could cause confusion and damage to socio-economic activities”.