Live Free or Die – Internet Freedom in Vietnam!

Well the slogan comes from New Hamshire, U.S.A., but we could just as well be talking about Vietnam, and their pursuit of Internet connectivity that would exceed their Asian neighbors.  Let’s just say they are trying to set the record straight after there were some “unkind” reports around Obama’s recent visit by several foreign news outlets that Vietnam “restricted” access to the widely-popular Facebook social network during the visit.  To make matters worse, the Vietnam News reports that “Some reactionaries and dissidents .   .  . posted this ill-intentioned information on their personal blogs.”  Not a good idea!

Now here is what the News reports:  “Compared to 2000, the number of Internet users in Vietnam has soared 200-fold.”  They now have 45.5 million Internet-users or 48 per cent of the population, ranking sixth in Asia, behind China (674 million), India (354 million), Japan (114.9 million), Indonesia (73 million) and the Philippines (47.1 million).  They    proudly add that they are “also among the top countries in terms of Facebook user growth, not to mention other information channels.”  Furthermore, Vietnam’s growth in this area “prove the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent viewpoint of ensuring press and Internet freedom.”

So there you have it.  Vietnam is open for business and social networking on the Internet, and they’re proud of it.  Just don’t believe all of those “unkind” reports by some foreign news outlets.

Ray Myers

Hanoi

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