The Vietnamese government has banned social media users from sharing anything aside from personal information. This means that social media users are now banned from sharing news stories and other content with their friends and family members online. Vietnamese citizens are also now banned from summarizing information from both the press and government websites. These regulations were reportedly signed by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on July 15th, though the changes were only revealed to the press yesterday. The law will go into place on September 1st.

Hoang Vinh Bao, the director of the Broadcasting and Electronic Information Department of the Ministry of Information and Communications in Vietnam, explained the regulations at a news conference:

Personal electronic sites are only allowed to put news owned by that person, and are not allowed to ‘quote’, ‘gather’ or summarise information from press organisations or government websites.

Vietnam doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to human rights and the Internet. This year alone, over 40 activists including bloggers have been arrested in the country. For instance, last month, blogger Pham Viet Dao was accused of “abusing democratic freedoms” and was detained.

Image Credit: v1ctor Casale.