Vietnam News

RSF makes German newspaper taz accessible again in Vietnam

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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recently used its mirror site technology “Operation Collateral Freedom” to restore online access to the German newspaper taz, which had presumably been blocked by the Vietnamese regime.

On 8 August, RSF used its mirror site technology known as “Operation Collateral Freedom” to restore access to the German newspaper taz‘s website in VietnamAccording to RSF sources, the website was blocked in the country, presumably under official orders. Prior to its blocking, the Taz newsroom had published an investigation about a Vietnamese woman who had fled to Germany to escape the regime’s authorities and is now at risk of being kidnapped by the Vietnamese agents.

The Vietnamese regime is systematically suppressing critical reports both domestically and abroad, using a variety of tactics. We strongly condemn the blocking of the taz website, which reveals the Hanoi regime’s fear of critical investigation.”

Helene Hahn , Advocacy Officer for Internet Freedom, RSF Germany

This is not the first time Vietnamese authorities have restricted German-based critical media and journalists. In October 2020, four Facebook posts by Germany-based journalist Trung Khoa Le, were also blocked in Vietnam “due to local legal restrictions”. They contained links to articles critical of the government by German media, including the RSF website.

RSF’s Operation Collateral Freedom is able to quickly restore access to a blocked website by creating an exact copy or “mirror” of the site and placing it on a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that hosts many other services. Authoritarian governments cannot block access to the CDN without suffering the collateral damage of blocking their own access to its other services.

Vietnam ranks 178th out of 180 countries and territories in the 2023 RSF World Press Freedom Index and is among the world’s worst jailers of journalists with 41 currently detained.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) – August 21, 2023

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