A new law in Vietnam law requires all “retail Internet locations” (including ‘net cafés, hotels, airports, even offices) to install a government-approved, server-side filtering and surveillance application by 2011. In a blog post expressing concern about the new regulation, Google says this will allow the government to monitor user activities and block access. Snip from PC Mag:
To “guarantee system safety,” retail Internet locations must install a copy of “Internet Service Retailers Management Software recognized by the authority,” the order said. There are few details on that software, but Google said in a blog post that “the application will likely allow the Vietnamese government to block access to websites, as well as to track user activities.”
(…) Internet users in Hanoi are not allowed to do anything online to: oppose the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; endanger national security, stability, public safety; disrupt the united harmony of the people; propagate war; create hatred, conflicts between minority groups, religious groups; provoke violence, pornography, crimes, social unrest, stereotypes; impair cultural values; or call for illegal demonstrations, boycotts, unlawful gatherings for grievances and complaints, the order said.
And from the Google Public Policy Blog post by policy analyst Dorothy Chou:
Together with the security attacks we detected on Vietnamese human rights activists earlier this year (see our security blog post on “The chilling effects of malware“) and intermittent blockages of Facebook and other social networks, this regulation is a troubling example of a government threatening free expression online and an open Internet.
Google Criticizes Vietnam’s ‘Net-Sniffing App (PC Magazine)
Disturbing Concerns in Vietnam (Google Public Policy Blog)