Updated : 12:00 PM, 06/17/2010
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has refuted claims that Vietnam tries to control internet users.
Nguyen Phuong Nga said on June 16 that in Vietnam, the rights to freedom of information and freedom of speech are ensured and stipulated in the law. Concerns that ‘the government threatens people’s freedom to express their views on the internet’ are groundless, she said.
Ms Nga made the statement while answering questions from reporters about an online article that accused Vietnam of issuing new regulations for internet shops to exercise more control over internet users.
She said that the Decision issued by the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee on April 26, 2010, was aimed at ensuring safety and healthiness for users at public internet service points in the city.
Ms Nga cited the fact that many bad practices have occurred during internet business activities such as uploading violent or porn material and other distasteful content which goes against the country’s customs.
Vietnam is one of the countries to have the highest internet growth rates in the world. The number of internet users in the country has risen by 100 times since 2000 to nearly 24 million currently, or nearly 28 percent of the population. In Hanoi alone, more than 60 percent of the population has access to the internet.