Huong Nguyen, The 88 Project – The Vietnamese Decree 72/2013/NĐ-CP on Management, Provision and Use of the Internet and Online Information (hereinafter the Decree), since its adoption on July 15, 2013, has had to face many critisms from Vietnamese bloggers and from the international community for restricting the use of Internet in Vietnam. Yet, some others have said, Decree 72 is about copyright issue. However, I suggest that, the motivation to adopt the decree set aside, the text of the decree includes provisions that clearly violate the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of information. Also, I am not sure to which extent this decree is about copyright.
Decree 72 prohibits social media users to share or discuss news, by distinguishing between “trang thông tin điện tử tổng hợp” – the general/”aggregated” news website (art. 20 clause 2) and “trang thông tin điện tử cá nhân” – personal news website (art. 20 clause 4). The reading of these two clauses clearly implies that the personal website of someone can only “provide, exchange information of that individual” and that personal website “does not provide general/aggregated information.”
Organizations need to obtain a license to provide “thông tin tổng hợp” (aggregated news) (art. 23 clause 4). And article 26 on the “rights and obligations of social network users” only talks about the information that one individual distributes through “direct hyperlinks that are created by her/himself.” That means that nowhere in the decree there’s a distinction between “sharing news on social media with proper citations” and “sharing news on social without citations.” Read More