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This likely makes filtering Internet content easier for Vietnam by limiting external access points that must be controlled.In the past, all IXPs were required to purchase physical connectivity from Vietnam Telecom International (VTI).Vietnam's Internet filtering regime demonstrates an ongoing struggle between the desire to increase Internet usage for economic purposes and the desire to limit its effects politically, and between the capabilities of filtering technology and the limitations of bandwidth, ISP resources, and users' tolerance.
VN domain reportedly had 11,533 registered domains, with about 400-600 new .
VN domain names being registered each day.29 Vietnam is also planning to implement a state-controlled Vietnamese-language second-level domain,30 presumably similar in concept to the new Chinese-language top-level domains set up by China.31 Blogging remains quite limited in Vietnam, and most bloggers who post from inside the state do so in English.
The head of a provincial Post and Telematics Office cited statistics that 90% of young Vietnamese Internet users had accessed pornography, and 26 of 28 cybercafés checked by officials had been used to access sexually-oriented material.11 The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Information noted his concern about the spread of this content to new forms of communication, including "sex chat, sex films on mobile phones, etc."12 He stated that the Internet "can also be a place where erroneous or harmful news content [and] pornographic materials [are available]?
If online information is not controlled well, it can be a bad influence." 13 Vietnam worries particularly about the use of the Internet to promote political reform, opposition groups, or viewpoints critical of the state in areas such as international relations.14 Critiques of the state or its high-level leaders remain taboo.15 Amnesty International claims that at least 10 people have been arrested for political activity using the Internet, with seven sentenced to prison.16 For example, Nguyen Dan Que was sentenced to 30 months in jail for writing and posting on the Internet an article about the lack of freedom of information in Vietnam; he was released as part of an amnesty in February 2005, but remains under surveillance.17 Dissident Le Chi Quang was sentenced to four years in prison for posting an online article that criticized a border accord between China and Vietnam.18 Finally, Vietnam is sensitive to criticism regarding its record on human rights.
The technical sophistication, breadth, and effectiveness of Vietnam's filtering are increasing with time, and are augmented by an ever-expanding set of legal regulations and prohibitions that govern on-line activity.