Vietnam’s government tolerates no online political debate and relentlessly gags bloggers and cyber-dissidents who dare to question its legitimacy or policies. Its determination to control online content is reflected not only in its censorship of blogs and social networks but also in its surveillance of citizen-journalists and its judicial harassment of them and their families. Firewalls block independent news sites and blogs, and site owners are often subjected to arrest or a great deal of harassment if content strays from the Communist Party line. Most Internet companies and service providers are state-owned and provide the first level of Internet surveillance, using domain name blocking to silence errant sites. Passwords are often hacked and connections are slowed on days when dissidents are arrested or tried. Mobile Internet browsing is also closely monitored as the state controls the three main operators.
Vietnam is ranked #175 over 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.