Breaching Vietnamese laws
The above websites and blogs’ appearance are similar and their content is about the activities of Vietnamese leaders in Vietnamese language and sometimes in English. The design and appearance of the websites and blogs are relatively attractive with catchy photos in order to get the readers’ attention.
According to a member of the Department of Broadcasting and Online Information under the Ministry of Information and Communication, there are about 30 websites and blogs assuming the names of Vietnamese leaders but their addresses and hosting are in other countries and their owners are unpublicised.
Representatives from many relevant departments in Vietnam confirm that there is only one official website of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the address: thutuong.chinhphu.vn. This website, launched from August 2007, is considered as the Prime Minister’s official and sole website, a member website of the Government’s Portal. Other websites and blogs under the names of Vietnamese leaders are false ones. These websites, not registering Vietnamese domain, work without permission of the state management agencies and approval of the leaders whose names they bear.
Mentioning these problem, the Deputy-Minister of Information and Communication, Do Quy Doan, said that the establishment of the websites and blogs assuming the names of Vietnamese leaders is not only dishonest but also breaching Vietnamese laws.
The Information and Technology Law, adopted in 2006, bans any acts that assume the names of the others to publish information online. Taking the names of the leaders also violates the criminal code of Vietnam. Moreover, publicising information that belongs to the others on the internet without their approval also violates the intellectual right in the civil code of Vietnam.
Vigilance against “information matrix”
Talking about the illegal operations of the false websites and blogs assuming the names of Vietnamese leaders, Mr. Vu Dinh Thuong, Head of the Press and Publication Department, under the Central Commission on Communication and Education, stressed that organisations or individuals who understand the international laws and respect basic human rights do not set up websites and blogs like these.
According to Mr. Thuong, state leaders, taking their rights as ordinary citizens, have rights to uphold their privacy, protected by laws. Websites and blogs with their names only become legal with their approvals and registration for permission from the authorities. Assuming the names of Vietnamese leaders on websites and blogs hosted in other countries is violating Vietnamese laws and jeopardising Vietnam’s image.
The “owners” and “authors” of the false websites also have complicated and malicious political motivations. At the beginning, these websites wanted to attract the readers and gain their trust so that they proactively provided accurate and fast information taking from official Vietnamese media. After that, when the readers became acquainted, the owners of the websites started to publish vague information, distracting the attention of the society and causing unexpected consequences.
Therefore, the aims of the websites are clear. They were set up not to provide correct and healthy information to serve the cause of building and developing Vietnam. We need to be proactive and timely to expose their plots of abusing internet freedom and press freedom to sabotage the Vietnamese revolution.
Each person and organisation should stay vigilant against the “information matrix” of bad people.
Determined to prevent the dangers
Why did they intentionally set up websites and blogs assuming the names of Vietnamese leaders? According to a security expert, this act could be considered as a test, challenging Vietnam that if the country does not allow private press organisations to operate and domestic bloggers to “express their democratic and free viewpoints”, they will set up websites and blogs like the “mainstream” ones in Vietnam.
Such a professional strategy in a new form! Through these websites, on one hands they pretend to publish objective information about guidelines and policies of the Party and State. On the other hand, they wait for the chance to implement their bad plots. Therefore, once the internet users, especially the young ones, lack vigilance, they can be trapped by these websites and blogs.
The operation of many false websites and blogs assuming the names of Vietnamese leaders shows that hostile forces have not given up their aim to sabotage the Vietnamese revolution.
In this “flat world”, they take full use of the internet, relying on the slogans of “press freedom” and “internet freedom” to find a new way of attacking Vietnam.
As a result, we need to increase internet security management and make suitable policies and mechanisms to facilitate the development and use of the internet in a right and healthy direction, contributing to maintaining political stability and social security.
Translated by Ngoc Hung