Americans are still coming to grips with the United States government's admitted surveillance of our online activities. Our emails, texts, and social media activity are all monitored for terrorist activity and held in storage for future reference if needed. At least, things are not as bad as in other countries where the government is using an iron fist on free speech. According to a Sept. 1 report on BBC Asia, Vietnam has totally clamped down on the discussion of news or current affairs on social media; it is to be used only for sharing personal information.
There have been dozens convicted for anti-state activity this year, including bloggers. Any sort of online publication that disagrees with the Vietnamese government is prohibited. Vietnam is a Communist country, and they tightly control the media. They are also requiring that all Internet companies operating in the country must keep their servers there.
Decree 72, which is what the new social media restriction is called, has drawn criticism from a variety of fronts: the United States embassy in Hanoi, Reporters Without Borders, the Asia Internet Coalition, the Internet companies and human rights agencies.
It is only natural that people might speculate whether this could be the next step in our government’s foray into our social media.
Have you visited the Knoxville Social Media Examiner on Facebook?