CNN: Facebookers blame Vietnam for blocking site

It’s not a matter of government protection but censorship. Just as Vietnam’s Internet community is still wary of using the Internet to its fullest potential, the government also finds itself in a tug of war between business interests and information control, as newspaper editor Vu Hao Nhien sees it.

The Vietnamese Government created the Administration Agency for Radio, TV and Electronics Information in 2008 that acts as a watchdog over Internet activity.

In September 2009, eight bloggers were tried on charges of “anti-government propaganda.” They were convicted and sentenced to jail sentences ranging from two to six years, the press advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders reported. The blogger community suspects they were targeted because they began to organize offline.

More sophisticated than blogs, Facebook offers the latest in the line-up of online organizational tools, from groups and fan pages to applications.

As reported by Giang Nguyen of CNN, the Vietnamese government cannot control Facebook so they make efforts to oppose it. But it’s a half-assed, partial block that signifies a Politburo scared of dialogue, information freedom, and free speech without the full resources to implement a full ban.

But do not be mistaken, a partial block is still a block. Whatever Kafkaesque, Orwellian world the Vietnamese government is imagining for its people is a sign not of progress but a nod it its Marxist past.

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