Vietnam Crackdown

I’ve looked at filtering in Vietnam some time ago, but given recent government order to crackdown on “bad and poisonous information” on the Internet I have been taking a closer look and I spoke with BBC/NPR about it today. (Ben Edelman is also interviewed in the report, listen to the report in MP3 format here.)I have not noticed any significant changes in filtering in Vietnam since I did some research on Vietnam’s filtering of the IFEX website. IFEX and VNN are blocked from most, but not all, remote computers used for testing in Vietnam (Tests were conducted using remote computers with connection on Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT) — users on other networks may have different levels of filtering). This indiactes that the filtering is not centralized and is being implemented at various levels of access using varying methods. In addition, the behaviour when accessing blocked content varies from a blockpage to basic authentication (with a unique ID number):

HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm=”Your Information (ID41322)”
Connection: Close

From my limited tests, blocking seems to generally focus on Vietnam-specific content and dissident groups. However, news websites such as BBC Vietnamese and VOA News Vietnamese are accessible.

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