Blogging Politics in Vietnam 2003-2015

A timeline of Vietnam's blogging movement and related political events.

Click the 'spanner' icon at bottom right to change the timeline view type, the spacing and zoom, or to select only one or more categories to view.

2003-02-01 00:00:00

Talawas

Talawas was founded in 2001 by writer Pham Thi Hoai. At first, Talawas focused on literature. Politics and social issues were added later. In 2009, Talawas became a forum and a blog. Talawas stopped operations in November 2010, but the archive is available online. With the motto of "respect different opinions" of the editorial board, talawas is considered one of the most reputable sites in Vietnam. Talawas archive was contributed by many Vietnamese well known intellectuals. Talawas also stores many Vietnamese literature works before 1975.

2004-02-01 00:00:00

X-cafe

X-café is created inside a popular forum called ddth.com. X-cafe is place where people discuss social issues, and it quickly grows in popularity.

2004-06-15 16:35:34

DanChimViet.com founded

DanChimViet.com founded in June 2004 is a news portal that promotes human rights, democracy and development for Vietnam. In 2007, due to many hacking attempts, the portal moves to new domains called dvconline.net and danchimviet.info.

2005-06-24 00:00:00

Yahoo! 360 blog service

Yahoo! 360 blog service launches and quickly becomes the most popular blog platform in Vietnam due to the wide use of Yahoo! Messenger and Yahoo! Mail.

2005-09-25 17:48:49

X-cafevn.org

After X-cafe box was terminated, the members of X-café create an independent forum called X-cafévn.org. Its philosophy is “To respect differences” and to encourage open dialogue on socio-political topics.

2007-08-25 19:38:38

Paracel Data Center

A web resource is published with information on The Paracel Islands, also known as Xisha in Chinese and Hoàng Sa in Vietnamese. Many Vietnamese bloggers have focused on their government's handling of China and threats to Vietnamese sovereignty.

2007-09-09 19:38:38

Blog Anh Ba Sàm

Anh Ba Sam created his first blog in September 2007 using Yahoo! 360 blog service. Anh Ba Sam's real name is Nguyen Huu Vinh, he is a former policeman. The blog was originally used as a means to store articles for his own reference, but the site soon became a platform for activists to share blog posts and other content critical of the government. Vietnamese bloggers have said that Ba Sam has traditionally been a forum for demonstrators staging anti-Chinese protests over territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Anh Ba Sam is the son of Nguyen Huu Khieu -- a former labor minister, top Party member and ambassador to the former Soviet Union.

2007-09-19 07:21:18

Independent Journalist Club established

The Free Journalists Network (FJVN) is founded by blogger Điếu Cày, Lê Xuân Lập, Huy Cường, Vũ Quốc Tú (blogger Uyên Vũ), and Ngô Thanh Tú (blogger Thiên Sầu). Joining later are Tạ Phong Tần (owner of the blog Công lý & Sự thật [Justice and Truth]), and Phan Thanh Hải (blogger AnhbaSG). From September 2007 to October 2010, when blogger AnhbaSG was detained, there were 421 articles published on this blog, of which 94 articles were written by FJVN members, while 327 articles were reposted from VOA, RFA, the 8406 bloc, Dân Luận, Thông Luận, Người Việt Online and other sources.

2007-12-09 19:38:38

First anti-Chinese protest

The first anti-Chinese protest is held by bloggers and students in Hanoi and Saigon to oppose China’s decision to set up “Sansha City” to administer the Spratly and Paracel islands. This was one of the first large-scale street demonstrations since reunification in 1975.

2007-12-09 19:38:38

Blog Osin by Huy Duc

San Truong (aka Huy Duc) is a freelance journalist based in Ho Chi Minh City who covers Vietnamese politics. After serving eight years as an officer in the Vietnamese army, fighting against the Chinese in 1979 and against the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s, he wrote for leading newspapers in Vietnam including Tuoi Tre and the Saigon Economic Times. As a journalist working in a state-controlled media system, his guiding principle has been to “push the line, but not cross the line,” by attacking corruption and promoting political reform. Until 2010, he published blogosin.org, which was the most popular blog in Vietnam.

2008-04-19 04:18:18

Blogger Dieu Cay arrested

Nguyễn Văn Hải, better known as Điếu Cày, is prosecuted by the government for tax evasion and "disseminating anti-state information and materials." His imprisonment was protested by several international human rights organizations including Amnesty International. On 21 October 2014, he was released after approximately 7 years imprison. (Wikipedia)

2008-04-29 08:10:58

Protest against Beijing Olympic 2008

Youth protest at the Olympic Torch Relay in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The scale of the protests is small.

2008-11-01 08:10:58

Bauxite mine project leaked

News about the “great project” of bauxite mining in Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) begins to spread in both the mainstream media and on blogs. Some intellectuals issue the first petition urging a review of the project.

2009-01-22 15:29:21

Dan Luan forum launched

Dân Luận is founded, with the aim of observing “neutrality, rationality, and pluralism.” Dân Luận shares a server with X-cafevn.org.

2009-03-20 00:24:52

Blog "Change We Need"

A new political Yahoo! 360° blog, “Change We Need” (probably inspired by the campaign of US President Obama), becomes famous by directly attacking the bauxite mining project. The blog provides readers unverifiable information about the government and its relations with Chinese counterparts. “The Tay Nguyen bauxite mining project: a grave the Vietnamese communist regime digs for itself,” said one blog post.

2009-05-24 00:24:52

Activist Tran Huynh Duy Thuc arrested

Trần Huỳnh Duy Thức (born 29 November 1966) is an engineer, entrepreneur and human rights activist. He was the founder and president of EIS, an international internet and telephone line provider. He is one of Amnesty International's prisoners of conscience. (Wikipedia)

2009-05-24 00:24:52

http://bauxitevn.info

Professor Nguyễn Huệ Chi, elementary school teacher Phạm Toàn, and Dr. Nguyễn Thế Hùng establish a website critical of the bauxite mining project (http://bauxitevn.info). It was hacked and subject to denial of service attacks hundreds of times.

2009-06-11 00:24:52

Blogger sues the Prime Minister

Lawyer/Activist Cù Huy Hà Vũ files a lawsuit against Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng for signing Decision no. 167/2007 approving the Tây Nguyên bauxite mining project.

2009-06-13 00:24:52

Lawyer Le Cong Dinh arrested

Lê Công Định is a prominent Vietnamese lawyer who defended many high-profile human rights cases. He was critical of bauxite mining in the Central Highlands, and was arrested on 13 June 2009 for reasons of "national security," despite the protests of the international community. Le Cong Dinh is one of Amnesty International's prisoners of conscience. (Wikipedia)

2009-06-18 00:24:52

Blog Free Lê Công Định

Blog appears that re-posts articles written by Le Cong Dinh and calls for his release.

2009-07-13 00:24:52

Yahoo! 360 terminated

Yahoo! 360° is closed down permanently. The community of bloggers in Vietnam splits up. Some move to Yahoo! 360° Plus. Others choose Wordpress, Blogger, Multiply, Weblog, etc. Many new blogs on politics were created in 2009-2010 as a result of the closing of Yahoo! 360°: Quê Choa (http://quechoa.info), Trương Duy Nhất (http://truongduynhat.vn), Nguyễn Xuân Diện, etc. Quê Choa is the blog of Nguyễn Quang Lập, a fiction writer and screenwriter, whose humorous, even vulgar style was very popular. Trương Duy Nhất is a mainstream reporter, who declared that he quit journalism to focus only on blogging independently. Nguyễn Xuân Diện is a researcher on Vietnam’s ca trù (a Vietnamese folk song genre).

2009-07-30 15:03:45

The rise of Facebook

Not long after Yahoo! 360 is terminated, Facebook becomes the most popular social network in Vietnam. Many activists move to Facebook, in part because it is harder for the government to censor pages within the Facebook architecture.

2009-08-27 01:48:00

Blogger Nguoi Buon Gio detained

Bui Thanh Hieu, better known as "Nguoi buon gio" is detained for nine days.

2009-08-28 01:48:00

Journalist Pham Doan Trang detained for 9 days

Pham Doan Trang is detained for nine days. Doan Trang later published the blog posts that inspired this timeline!

2009-08-28 01:48:00

Blogger Me Nam detained

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, better known as blogger "Me Nam" is detained for nine days.

2009-09-28 01:48:00

Facebook blocked (first time)

Facebook is blocked for the first time. Facebook users spread circumvention guidelines, greatly increasing knowledge on how to circumvent firewalls among Vietnamese computer users.

2009-12-30 15:03:45

Facebook blocked (second time)

The second Facebook block is more substantial and effective than the first block.

2010-01-20 10:38:34

DDOS attack

X-cafevn.org and Dân Luận are subjected to denial of service attacks for the first time, coinciding with the court trial of four political dissidents: Lê Công Định, Nguyễn Tiến Trung, Trần Huỳnh Duy Thức and Lê Thăng Long, all accused of “carrying out activities to overthrow the people’s administration” under Article 79 of the Penal Code.

2010-02-28 17:14:29

Hacker attacks

Hacker group Sinh Tử Lệnh penetrates X-cafevn.org and Dân Luận, stealing private registrations of members and posting them at sinhtulenh.org. While this group has previously attacked and damaged independent blogs and websites, this is the first time they appear under the alias Sinh Tử Lệnh (Command of Life and Death).

2010-08-23 05:13:59

Hacking attacks

The blog Free Le Cong Dinh (the forerunner of Danlambao), Thư viện Hà Sĩ Phu, Thông Luận, Tiền Vệ, X-Cafe and Talawas are all hacked and made inaccessible.

2010-08-23 22:14:18

Blog Dan Lam Bao appears

Danlambao is founded. Danlambao means “people doing journalism,” as opposed to a state-owned media. Dan Lam Bao is soon the most well-known independent media channel in Vietnam, publishing the writing of many activists. In 2012, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung directly ordered the police to attack and block access to Dan Lam Bao and two other sites for posting sensitive political information.

2010-10-18 14:48:03

Blogger AnhbaSG arrested

Phan Thanh Hải (born 1969) is a Vietnamese blogger known as "Anhbasg" or "Anh Ba Sài Gòn." At the Free Journalists Club website, Phan discussed controversial topics including other dissidents, Vietnam's maritime border with China, and government corruption scandals. A lawyer by training, Phan was denied permission to practice due to his blogging and his involvement in protests. In 2007, he was arrested after a protest against the Beijing Olympics and later placed under police surveillance. In October 2010, he was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City and charged with disseminating anti-state information and materials. (Wikipedia)

2010-10-26 20:38:12

Journalist Lê Nguyễn Hương Trà arrested

“Social blogger” Cô Gái Đồ Long, also known as journalist Lê Nguyễn Hương Trà, is arrested for posted a blog entry “defaming” a public security officer, General Nguyễn Khánh Toàn, and accused of committing libel.

2010-11-03 11:09:06

Talawas closes down

Talawas closes down after nine years of operation. The website is still available online.

2010-11-05 09:59:13

Cu Huy Ha Vu arrested

On 5 November 2010, Vũ is arrested at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Police claim to have arrested him with a woman who was not his wife, and photos are briefly posted showing a half-dressed Vũ with a blurred-out woman. Vũ's home and law office are subsequently searched. Officials later state Vu had "produced documents that opposed the State of Vietnam, employed propagandistic rhetoric as a form of a psychological warfare, demanded the overthrow of the regime and the realization of pluralism and a multiparty system." (Wikipedia)

2011-04-26 19:42:22

Nguyen Anh Tuan confession

Nguyễn Anh Tuấn (born 1990), a student at the National Academy of Public Administration, sends a “confession” to the Supreme People's Procurator, requesting to be charged with “conducting propaganda against the state” together with Cù Huy Hà Vũ, as he has also stored “documents with contents against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” His request is not resolved and the authorities fail to issue any official decision on the case, but Tuấn is summoned for interrogations and investigation. On May 19, he publishes an open letter, saying “it's a tragedy for a nation when good wills is only one-sided – from the people.” (BBC)

2011-05-26 23:39:03

Chinese patrol boats confront Vietnamese oil exploration ship in South China Sea

Chinese maritime surveillance vessels cut the seismic exploration cables of PetroVietnam’s Bình Minh 2 vessel in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. Outcry spreads on the Internet, including the blogosphere and Facebook. 'Nhật Ký Yêu Nước' (Diary of Patriotism, a Facebook page created on 12 April 2010) calls for protests against China.

2011-06-06 05:52:23

Anti-China protest outside embassy

Hundreds of people in Vietnam protest in front of the Chinese diplomatic missions in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City against what they see as Chinese incursion into Vietnamese territory in the disputed South China Sea. Protesters sing patriotic songs and carry banners in Vietnamese, Chinese, and English, with slogans such as "We Oppose China Creating Instability," and "The Spratlys and Paracels Belong to Vietnam." Others carry the national flag of Vietnam. Around 400 protesters march to the Chinese embassy in Hanoi, until the crowd was dispersed by police. Several hundred also gathered by the Chinese consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. (RFA)

2011-06-09 00:49:23

Chinese ships disturb Vietnamese vessel again

Chinese fishing boats damage the cables of a ship chartered by PetroVietnam as it was engaged in seismic surveys in Vietnam's waters. According to Nguyen Phuong Nga, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, the Viking II vessel, leased by the PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC) from a foreign company, was working at Lot. No 136.03 (6o47.5' N 109o17.5' E) in Vietnam's continental shelf. (Thanh Nien News)

2011-06-12 21:18:22

Anti-China weekly protest

Protest is planned for every Sunday. Protests in Ho Chi Minh City are suppressed with violence. Photos circulate on Internet showing plainclothes policemen knocking down young protesters on the streets of Saigon. At the same time, police suppression escalates in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Protesters are intimidated, harassed and isolated. Some are dismissed from their jobs under police pressure. State-owned media and cyber troops launch massive campaigns against protesters - who claim they are peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. 19 June 2011 is the third Sunday of protests in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and is the last “blogger' protest” held in Ho Chi Minh City. In Hanoi, protests continue each Sunday until 21 August, when 47 people are arrested, some of them accused of “disrupting public order” (similar to “inciting social disorder” in China).

2011-08-18 21:18:22

F-Generation ebook published

The e-book “The F-Generation” is published online at Dan Lam Bao, Ba Sam and other sites as a collection of writings by Vietnamese bloggers on the three anti-China protest rallies in the early summer.

2011-08-23 21:18:22

X-cafevn.org and Dân Luận hacked again

X-cafevn.org and Dân Luận are hacked for the second time by Sinh Tử Lệnh. All data from the sites is deleted. Not only attacking political opposition websites, Sinh Tu Lenh also hits Vietnamese internet companies such as VCcorp and Vietnamnet in 2014.

2011-09-05 14:48:03

Blogger Ta Phong Tan arrested

Tạ Phong Tần (born 1968) is a former policewoman and was a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam. She was arrested in September 2011 on anti-state propaganda charges for her blog posts alleging government corruption. On 30 July 2011, Ta Phong Tan's mother Dang Thi Kim Lieng immolated herself in front of the government offices in Bạc Liêu Province in protest of the charges. On 4 October 2012, Ta Phong Tan was sentenced to ten years in prison. Her arrest was protested by groups including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the US State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. (Wikipedia)

2011-10-30 00:54:31

No-U football club launched

No-U football club is established. “Sharing a sense of patriotism and anger towards China's aggressive acts, suffering from the same police intimidation and suppression, the protesters find themselves united. Furthermore, football is a sport that can most easily bring people together. The No-U football club is founded in this context.” (blogger Nguyễn Tường Thụy)

2011-11-17 00:54:31

“Crazy Deputy” criticized by bloggers

Mr. Hoàng Hữu Phước, deputy for Ho Chi Minh City, speaks before the National Assembly, saying “the majority of people will not support a law on protests and demonstrations because protests and demonstrations, by their nature, are vulnerable and may lead to abuses, which can easily lead to chaos.” This position and many other opinions and writings on his personal blog earn Phước the title of “Crazy Deputy” among bloggers.

2011-11-27 00:54:31

Protest supports "Law on protests"

A group of bloggers in Hanoi hold a small demonstration to “support the PM and National Assembly” in promulgating the law on protests and demonstrations. All of them are arrested and kept in custody in Lộc Hà rehabilitation camp until the end of the day. The Law on Protests has never been approved and remains under discussion in 2015.

2011-11-27 00:54:31

Bui Thi Minh Hang arrested

Blogger Bùi Thị Minh Hằng is arrested in Saigon and taken to Hanoi after trying to protest against the arrest of her Hanoi companions. She is detained in the Thanh Hà education camp, Vĩnh Phúc province, until 29 April 2012 for “disturbing public order.”

2012-01-01 12:52:54

'Pro & Contra' blog appears

Writer Phạm Thị Hoài, who ran Talawas, sets up her new blog Pro & Contra. The blog runs until the end of 2014.

2012-01-02 15:43:48

Journalist Hoang Khuong arrested

Hoang Khuong, 39, a reporter with Tuoi Tre newspaper, is charged with paying 15 million dong (US $715) to a traffic police officer, through a broker, in return for the release of an impounded motorbike. He was sentenced to four years in jail for offering a bribe - which he said was part of an investigation to expose police corruption. The charge against Hoang Khuong is believed to be a warning from the police to journalists not to interfere into their business.

2012-01-05 12:52:54

Tien Lang land appropriation case

Shooting breaks out in the Tiên Lãng suburb of Hải Phòng when two fish farmers, Đoàn Văn Vươn and his younger brother Đoàn Văn Quý use improvised mines and muskets to resist an eviction by local policemen. Mainstream media and bloggers both comment on the incident with news, analysis and commentary. The public generally supports the Doan family as land disputes are common in Vietnam and citizens are increasingly discontent with land appropriations by the state or state actors.

Blogging Politics in Vietnam 2003-2015

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