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Vũ Quang Thuận (left) and Nguyễn Văn Điển (right) with a political officer of the American Embassy in Hanoi. Source: Facebook Lê Quốc Quân

The 88 Project, March 3, 2017: Vietnamese state-owned media announced the arrests of two Hanoi-based dissidents, Mr. Vũ Quang Thuận  and Mr. Nguyễn Văn Điển, for “making and distributing video clips with bad content on the Internet.” Official report did not clarify under charges they were arrested. The two may be charged under Art. 88 of the Criminal Code for “propaganda against the Socialist state.”

Both Vũ Quang Thuận (born 1966, nickname Võ Phù Đổng) and Nguyễn Văn Điển (born 1983, nickname Điển Ái Quốc) are leading members of Phong Trào Dân Tộc Chấn Hưng Nước Việt (“Vietnam Progressive Movement”), which has as its principle the motto “Democracy, Progress, Humanity, Peace.” After the arrest of a founding member of the Movement, former political prisoner Lê Thăng Long, in Vietnam in a major political crackdown in 2009, Thuận and Điển fled to Malaysia, but they were arrested, deported back to Vietnam, and detained at the Detention Center 34 in Hồ Chí Minh city. Điển was then released, but Thuận was coerced into an internment at a mental hospital in Đồng Nai. After Thuận’s discharge from the hospital (year unknown), Điển and Thuận has been continuing to work together in their advocating efforts.

The duo have been producing and running a YouTube video channel through which Vũ Quang Thuận discusses political issues, advocates for the respect of human rights and democracy. The last video series they uploaded two days ago is entitled “Guide to Lawful Protest,” which could be one of the reasons that triggered their arrests. Note that recently, there has been an appeal circulated online, allegedly from Father Thadeus Nguyễn Văn Lý, a prominent former prisoner of conscience, calling people to take to the streets every Sunday and holidays starting March 5, 2017, to protest peacefully to “regain the people’s sovereignty.”

© 2017 The 88 Project

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Nguyen Quoc Huu Duy. Souce: Dan Lam Bao

Blogger Trinh Kim Tien, HCM City, December 22, 2016: Before blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was arrested for the crime of being a peaceful civil rights activist, she had often raised her voice to support Vietnamese prisoners of conscience and victims of injustice. Among them is Nguyen Huu Quoc Duy, whose appeal trial is going to take place on December 26, 2016. The day of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh’s arrest, October 10, 2016, was actually the day she was taking Duy’s mother to visit him in prison. Read More

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Source: Internet

The Diplomat, Oct. 21, 2016 – Vietnam’s newly enacted cybersecurity law shows the legislative confusion of a government caught between a rock and a hard place.

On the one hand, Vietnam’s computer networks are among the most targeted for attack in the world, courtesy of rampant cybercrime and legions of Chinese hackers. The July hacking of Noi Bai Airport underlined the scale of Vietnam’s cyber woes. Investment in national cyber security efforts must increase drastically.

On the other hand, the new law makes it clear the government is antsy about citizens with the cyber savvy to encrypt their online communications. Political and media control, after all, requires the ability to monitor citizens’ online activities.

Therein lies the paradox. A citizenry largely ignorant of cyber security makes the job of hackers all the easier. Access to networks is often gained not through brute force means, but via phishing attacks that target individuals – as was likely the case with the Noi Bai Airport hack.

Citizens encrypting their online communications do not threaten national cyber security. Rather the opposite, they enhance it. But there is scant support for this notion in Vietnam’s 2015 Cyber Information Security Law, enacted on July 1, 2016. Read More