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VIETNAM freedom of speech & the INTERNET PowerPoint Presentation
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VIETNAM freedom of speech & the INTERNET

VIETNAM freedom of speech & the INTERNET

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VIETNAM freedom of speech & the INTERNET

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  1. VIETNAMfreedom of speech & the INTERNET Free Journalists Association of Vietnam

  2. Current situation • Role of the Internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech • Future directions vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet

  3. Current Situation • The constitution and the criminal code contain national security and antidefamation provisions to restrict the media; • All media outlets are under the control of the communist party (5 TV's, 500 newspapers). vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  4. Current Situation • Journalists cannot cover certain sensitive matters or openly criticize the single-party rule; • Journalists who overstep the bounds of permissible reporting are subjected to: • Harassment; • Termination of employment and no chance of prospective job; • Closing down their newspaper; • House arrest; • Imprisonment. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  5. Reporter Trang Dung with his wound after being attacked while doing his job. Current Situation • Journalists cannot cover certain sensitive matters or openly criticize the single-party rule; • Journalists who overstep the bounds of permissible reporting are subjected to: • Harassment; • Termination of employment and no chance of prospective job; • Closing down their newspaper; • House arrest; • Imprisonment. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  6. Journalist Phuong Thao at the place where she was handcuffed by State Police. Current Situation • Journalists cannot cover certain sensitive matters or openly criticize the single-party rule; • Journalists who overstep the bounds of permissible reporting are subjected to: • Harassment; • Termination of employment and no chance of prospective job; • Closing down their newspaper; • House arrest; • Imprisonment. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  7. Reporter Do Van Khanh was attacked and his camera was broken in half by State police while doing his job. Current Situation • Journalists cannot cover certain sensitive matters or openly criticize the single-party rule; • Journalists who overstep the bounds of permissible reporting are subjected to: • Harassment; • Termination of employment and no chance of prospective job; • Closing down their newspaper; • House arrest; • Imprisonment. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  8. Current Situation - The Internet • 2 million Internet subscribers; • 10 million Internet users (GlobalComms Database) - 12% of the population. 35% by 2010; • 5,000 websites (Vietnamwebsite.net). vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  9. Current Situation • Owners of domestic Web sites must submit the content to the government for approval; • The firewalls were put in place by government-owned Vietnam Data Communication Co (VDC) starting July 1998; • The country's five Internet service providers must route all their traffic through VDC's network. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  10. Current Situation • Many Internet users' activities are monitored by police; • House search and confiscation of personal PC are constant; • Online discussion and reading banned web sites on democracy can cause harassment or imprisonment. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  11. Current Situation • Many Internet users' activities are monitored by police; • House search and confiscation of personal PC are constant; • Online discussion and reading banned web sites on democracy can cause harassment or imprisonment. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  12. Current Situation • Vietnam was marked as one of 15 Enemies of the Internet by the Reporters Without Borders. • Reporters Without Borders' fourth annual World Press Freedom Index ranks Vietnam 158th out of 167 countries without press freedom. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  13. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Changing the Media Landscape • Pre-internet: • Hardcopy only, hence a limited audience and mostly regional; • Not much competition since all sources of news are the same due to government's ownership. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  14. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Changing the Media Landscape • With Internet: • Electronic media going world-wide. Anyone in VN and abroad can choose various carriers of information to read; • Reaching out to a wider audience and erasing the geographical boundary; • Online newspaper can publish more news than the hard-copy version resulting in extra information; • Due to more competition, online media is pressured to be more daring and bolder in their publication; thus, pushing the permission line by default. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  15. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Changing the Media Landscape Online media is free, fast, with more audience, more news, and bolder. The internet by itself produces an unintended by-product: the authorities lose its total control on media ! vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  16. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Changing the Public Discourse • Pre-internet: • No way for a large group of people to meet for discussion/exchange of ideas; • No way for people to meet nationwide, or for that matter, worldwide. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  17. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Changing the Public Discourse • With Internet: • A growing number of web forum in Vietnam (on various topics/theme) where anyone from anywhere in the world can join; • Estimated number of forums: in the hundreds; • These forums still self-police to steer away from politics; • Some forum are owned, hosted in Vietnam. Others are founded by students when they travel abroad to study; • Discussion groups: with free email like Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, Vietnamese people can QUIETLY join a number of discussion groups. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  18. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Changing the Public Discourse • With Internet: • Eventhough public discourse is still limited to taboo topics, more social issues surfaced via the Internet. • Example: in 2005 people in diendantinhoc (IT forum) came together to bring to light a cheating incident in the annual Vietnam Intellectual Competition with the result of the winner's admission of cheating and being stripped of the title. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  19. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Other impacts of the Internet - in Vietnam • Maintaining group network and providing path ways to freedom of speech; • Enabling citizens to voice their views on national issues; • Strengthen connections among citizens, thereby building an autonomous site of public debate; • Effective communication to the outside world. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  20. Role of the internet in the struggle for Freedom of Speech Other impacts of the Internet - Outside Vietnam • Main communication channel between dissidents within VN and Vietnamese overseas; • Medium of information exchange: news, articles, electronic magazines from outside world to Vietnam via mass emailing; • News, articles, electronic magazines from Vietnam back to Vietnam via mass emailing. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  21. Future Directions To resist against the government's control - Our approaches: • Approach 1: Never compete with the goverment in term of technical know-hows; • Approach 2: Make it look normal and KISS; • Approach 3: Immerse into a crowd; • Approach 4: Use 2 step-approach - one to one then one to many; • Approach 5: Combine various methods of communication (chat + messaging + phone + email); • Approach 6: Minimize the Internet infiltration. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions

  22. Future Directions • Alliance with international organizations who share the same goal (i.e. alert network for better protection; opportunities for joint initiatives ...); • Seeking support in capacity-building (i.e. training/funding/membership in existing alliances...); • Legally challenging the government by using the Vietnam's Constitution to go from underground to above ground. vietnamfreedom ofspeech andtheinternet Current situationwRole of the internetwFuture directions