In the past week users across Vietnam have reported that they are no longer able to access the popular blogging websites of Blogger (owned by Google) and WordPress.
As previously reported, this month a new law goes into effect, requiring foreign internet businesses who serve Vietnamese customers to relocate their relavent servers within Vietnam, submit to state censorship, submit private user information to the government, and pay tax to Vietnam. The law was specifically targeted at Google and Facebook, as reported by state-controlled media, but could be used against any foreign company.
Reps from Google previous told me they were taking a wait and see approach and had no official opinions or particular plans to comply at the time.
Readers of my blog know that Fisheggtree.com has been blocked from time to time, as I don't shy away from restricted topics in the Communist country.
Vietnam began blocking Facebook in 2009 but the move was unofficial (it was orchestrated via a confidential government memo sent to heads of Vietnamese telecom companies). The new law would appear to now make such blocks on internet companies legal and official.
Vietnam has periodically blocked other websites, long before Facebook. Blogs covering political and religious topics as well as Google News, BBC, CNN and other sites have been periodically blocked.
Like the Facebook block, the new bans on Blogger and WordPress have been implemented in an inconsistent (and some might say incompetent) manner. Users report that they are unavailable via VNPT across the country, but some users have been able to access them via cell providers Viettel and MobiFone 3G. As in the past with Facebook, the blog sites may become increasingly difficult to access from within Vietnam, as the totalitarian government closes technical loopholes and various local ISPs comply with government orders.