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June 01, 2005



Okay this is right up your alley. It seems that you can't get into any Blogger blogs while in Vietnam right now. it's been like this for over two weeks.

Should I be paranoid?

Rebecca MacKinnon

You probably should be. Blogger blogs are often blocked in China (and may be right now, maybe somebody now in China can confirm) so it wouldn't be surprising if Vietnam had decided to block them too. Question for you: are other friends of yours having the same problem and is this the case for people accessing the internet from hotels and foreign business offices as well as from internet cafe's and dialup connections? Another question: how hard is it to access them through proxy servers? Are you accessing this blog with no problems or are you having to use a proxy server?
Need info on use of proxies? See: http://www.freeproxy.ru/en/free_proxy/howuse.htm



Hey, blogging in China here.

I looked for some stuff on Vietnam internet censorship, OMIH, and this is what I got:


It's a report about a Human Rights Watch report:


Which I can't read because, heheh, I'm in China. HRW is on the Great Firewall's naughty list. But from the IFEX article, it sounds like Vietnam is like China. Paranoia is natural, but there's most likely no problem except possibly frustration over not being able to read Blogger or the BBC (but the New York Times is fine... the Chinese firewall is a funny one).

Proxies work here, but with hiccups. Same with Google News. How much of your information is being monitored is up for speculation, but most foreigners blogging in China seem confident enough to discuss controversial subjects and haven't lost access or been detained (though alot of us were shut out temporarily by the sudden Blogger shutdown of 2003). For locals its not the same deal. We often have contact with Chinese bloggers (some are more language capable than others - I'm at the lesser end myself), and there is a sharing of information and dialogue that I think are unprecedented. While it is true that access is heavily restricted, I'd say there are still many opportunities on the Internet for Chinese people to gain increased access to the rest of the world.

Was there any discussion of increased ties between Chinese internet users and users in other countries at the conference?

Jon Garfunkel


This is very illuminating, thank you for taking the time to write it. It certainly bolster's Lessig's argument in Code that the inherent nature of the Internet is not necessarily freedom; it is what its local architects design it to be.



Yeah other blogspot blogs are having the same problems right now. I also can't open non-Vietnam based blogspot blogs.

Couldn't get the proxy server thing to work.

I don't think its anything personal - I couldn't be more complementary about Vietnam. If this is the cast that they are blocking blogs then it is a mistake. But then again its not my jobs to criticise the government here. To a certain extent they are what they are and I have a job of work to do.

It'd be a big shame though if I can't keep the blog going. My whole idea was to keep it as a body of work of my time here in Hanoi working for KOTO. I thought it might be of interest to future VSO volunteers or those contemplating doing something similar work.

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