Vietnamese censors focusing on politics, not porn

18 Aug 2006
00:00
News
Stories

Looking at Internet filtering practices in Vietnam, one could conclude that the government is more worried about politics than porn.
University researchers said in a report that the practices run counter to the government's own statements.
'Vietnam purports to prevent access to Internet sites primarily to safeguard against obscene or sexually explicit content,' the report said. 'However, the state's actual motives are far more pragmatic.'
Vietnam's ISPs did not block any of the pornography sites tested but filtered most of the sites 'with politically or religiously sensitive material that could undermine Vietnam's one-party system.'
China and other regimes worried about political sites also turn their attention to blocking porn, said Derek Bambauer, a research fellow with OpenNet Initiative, a collaboration of Harvard University, the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge.
Bambauer also said Vietnam's filtering got more sophisticated in just the six months studied.
The report found filtering the responsibility of government-owned or -licensed service providers, with the two main ones in Vietnam taking different approaches.
One uses traditional filtering, and attempts to access a banned site produce a message saying the site had been blocked.
The other took records of the banned sites out of its domain-name servers completely, producing 'site not found' errors as if the sites had never existed, Bambauer said.

Related content

Comments
No Comments Yet! Be the first to share what you think!