back to article Vietnam jails man for Facebook freedom campaign

The Vietnamese government has shot itself in the foot yet again on the thorny topic of human rights after a Facebook campaigner was sentenced to 15 months under house arrest for “abusing” his democratic freedoms. Dinh Nhat Uy, 30, has the dubious honour of being the first person in the Communist state to get sent down for using …

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Is Vietnam is aiming for a commnunist government?

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I've been to Vietnam

and the divide between North and South is still obvious. People in the South are more friendly to Westerners, more willing to haggle for a deal and generally very pleasant. In the North, the people are suspicious of Westerners, insist on an inflated price and thereby lose trade, and generally try to fleece Westerners all the time.

North Vietnam is cold, dark and grey. South Vietnam is warm, bright and sunny.

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Anonymous Coward

They *are* a communist government

One of the remaining ones.

I was going to invest in Vietnam as an emerging economy, but for that I need a legalized copy of my passport from the Vietnamese embassy (in Bangkok).

(rest of comment snipped, I just realized that if I criticize the Vietnam government that can be used against me if I ever happen to be in Vietnam). Man GCHQ/NSA surveillance sucks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've been to Vietnam

Could this no be your own prejudices poking through - having been sold the "North Vietnam = Communist = Enemy", "South Vietnam = USA Supported = Friendly" of the 70s? Or maybe you only visited Hanoi and Halong Bay in the North?

Everyone's experience of Vietnam may be different on a totally personal note I found the North of Vietnam absolutely amazing. The Scenery, the people, the cultural diversity. Super friendly and overly welcoming.

Many Vietnamese areas are still a barter economy and the price will change depending on what you negotiate. Often they will expect to be able to get higher prices from Vietnamese from outside of the area, a different price again from those in a different hemisphere of Vietnam, different again for foreigners like Chinese or Westerners and then maybe higher still for Americans.

Overcharging Americans is generally because even after asking for x price an awful lot of Americans would then pay more on top (to the American a tip, to the receiver - I'm not charging enough and they want to pay more).

I like the North, the south and the middle of Vietnam in equal and different ways, but then I only had a fleeting visit spending 6 months riding 10,000km all around the country and living there for 18 months.

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Hullo? AIMING?

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Trollface

Re: I've been to Vietnam

"North Vietnam is cold, dark and grey. South Vietnam is warm, bright and sunny."

You could say the same about the UK, of course. And that bit about northerners who are suspicious & unfriendly and want to fleece you.

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Meh

Re: I've been to Vietnam

Your generalisation of 'north' VietNam was no doubt generated by visiting Ha Noi. (Or Ha Long Bay or Cha Pa [SaPa]).

Ha Noi has a strange attitude to Foreigners and southern Vietnamese alike. They think they are the 'cradle' of Vietnamese culture. The rest of the north is very friendly. Temperatures can be as low as 10C in the winter and 35-40C in the summer.

Tourists get 'fleeced' as they don't know how to shop. And, maybe if you had endured years with hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs dropped on you, you might regard bombers with suspicion.

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Meh

Re: They *are* a communist government

Sorry, they ARE a Socialist country although whilst Ha Noi won the battle, SaiGon won the war - most Vietnamese are too busy making money to bother about politics.

If the VN government has your number, they will simply deny you a visa.

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Coat

Re: I've been to Vietnam

"You could say the same about the UK, of course. And that bit about northerners who are suspicious & unfriendly and want to fleece you."

Though the reaction to 'Me love you long time' might be slightly different in Huddersfield to that in Ha Noi...

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Democracy FTW!

This wouldn't happen in a democratic country, unless you posted something clearly tongue in cheek to vent your frustration about an airport closure that is.

Instead the covert mass surveillance would bring you to the attention of the authorities sooner so you could be held without trial on some overblown terrorism charges instead.

Freedom, isn't it wonderful?

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Take a good, long look....

.... as that kind of "freedom" will soon be standard across the world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Take a good, long look....

Perhaps they are just taking a page out of Apple.

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Angel

No problem here!

I are enamored of my worshipful government masters; my mouth swells with praiseworthy accolades & songs of patriotic enthusiasm. Masters deserve chicken; faithful servant loves feather soup. Mmmmm ... yummmm. No desire for temptations of internet.

(Good for NSA review?)

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Megaphone

' imprison those who “abuse” their freedom of speech'

Ah, so another country that thinks that Freedom of Expression means "Freedom to say what *we* approve of".

It's a good thing that there aren't people in Western Governments who think that way...

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Anonymous Coward

Inspiration

Some more good laws ready for David CaMoron to copy...

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FAIL

Re: Inspiration

Cameron ALREADY has more onerous laws.

Password or 4 years; charged with making FB comments; Bittorrent sites blocked; etc.

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Joke

Maybe, just maybe

We could convince the French to return to Vietnam and straighten them out.

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WTF?

Most everyone knows the rules in VietNam

After twenty-one years here in VN, and with heavy involvement with the InterNet, web products and admin/modding 40+ chatrooms (for money) I have never had a visit from the Ministries of Culture, Information or Internal Security.

First of all, FB is - supposedly - a blocked site in VietNam due to the type of content. ISPs here do block it, although VNPT Mobile users can access it. Any youth over 10 knows how to set-up/use VPNs. The UK and France both block more web sites than VN.

DINH Nhat Uy is a fool. He didn't get locked up for using FB, he was locked up for criticising the government in the way he did. NEVER criticise government personalities, ministries are OK.

The courts here are similar to the ones in Britain - opinionated. They are sensitive to the social scene, again as in Britain. I have used the courts several times and found the judgements equitable. Penal code section 258 is used by prosecutors not, as Muncaster said, by the courts.

We have two types of charges, as do most countries: Summary/Misdemeanour and Felony. The Cong An (Peoples Police) handle Administrative charges - drunk driving, fighting, minor theft, etc. Sound familiar? The 'records' of such charges are destroyed after one year. In the USA, UK and Canada, etc. such records are retained often for life. Which would YOU prefer?

Felonies are handled by the courts and the records remain for life.

Police don't feature in peoples lives here, we don't hear "Hey you" followed for a demand for ID. Neither do we have the cops pulling people over as happens in Canada, UK or USA. I frequently travel 350 kilometres overnight, at speed. but I never get checked. And the cops hang out at every toll gate.

Decree 73 isn't onerous, it requires .VN domains be hosted on a VN domiciled server. It will require Yahoo and Google to set up token servers here. The English translation of 73 aren't the greatest, Vietnamese loses a lot in translation.

Western 'social' sites have experienced difficulty with personal data being abused and misused. VN has strict controls on the use/copying/retention of personal data. My wife owns two hotels and we require guests to complete their own registration forms; our employees complete their own government forms - which means the data supplier 'volunteered' the information.

Reading 73 without knowledge of VN law distorts opinions.

P.S. Like most people in VN I am apolitical, my wife is apolitical, only the most dedicated people have time for politics. As a Canadian I know Western 'freedom', both the UK and USA have far more onerous police states than either Canada or VietNam.

Why are so many Foreigners living here if they don't regard VietNam favourably?

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Re: Most everyone knows the rules in VietNam

Different ways of doing things; but as a Brit I can call David Cameron (or anybody else in politics) a cockwomble wih a zero chance of going to prison for it; and that's how things should be. If someone is making an arse of themselves; they WILL be called out for it in the UK.

There are things Brits can't say, however: A credible threat of violence will probably result in a police visit but you'd have to lock pretty well everybody up if criticizing the government became a crime.

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Canned reporting

Is it a Vulture Tower rule that all statements are referred to as 'Canned'? It's getting rather tedious!

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