Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, October 15, 2007

New internet regulations possible in Viet Nam after latest "blog war"

Viet Nam is looking to prepare new blog regulations after a comment made by a journalist on the internet incited a “blog war,” Earthtimes.org reported today.

According to the VietnamNet news site, the spat began after journalist Huong Tra made a comment on her widely read blog about singer Phuong Thanh, saying Thanh needed to give out free tickets to her latest concert because her career was so ailing. Thanh’s fans retaliated by making abusive comments on Tra’s blog, until Tra took the post down.

Officials in Viet Nam are using this case to call for more state control over the internet, where the government already uses firewalls to control access to political and pornographic websites.

“It is right to apply state management over blogs,” said Nguyen Viet Chuc, a former National Assembly member who sat on the Committee on Culture. He added, “Many people are abusing blogs to say negative things about the government and to slander other people’s honour.”

Both women have threatened to sue for damage to their reputations, which could lead to Viet Nam’s first test case of internet libel.

For the full story, click here.

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