26 Dec 2008

Vietnam bans 'subversive' blogs

9:18 am on 26 December 2008

Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communication has banned blogs that it considers subversive. Also banned are blogs that, in the ministry's view, reveal state, security or economic secrets.

According to a ministry circular quoted by the newspaper Hanoi Moi, it has been decreed that blogs should follow the traditions and laws of Vietnam, and be written in "clean and wholesome" Vietnamese.

Internet use has exploded in Vietnam in recent years, and blogging has become wildly popular. Some 21 million people are currently thought to use the Internet - about a quarter of the population. That is up from an estimated 14 million in 2006.

The newspaper Thanh Nien Daily reported earlier in December

that the ministry, which regulates the Internet in Vietnam, intends to contact Yahoo and Google to seek their cooperation in "creating the best and healthiest environment for bloggers".