The text, signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, entered into effect in February 2011. The primary targets for sanctions are authors who post information which is either “unauthorised” or “not the interests of the people.” By interpreting these vague definitions broadly, the Vietnamese government will have leeway to increase the number of arrests of bloggers and journalists. The decree also provides for fines of up to 3 million dong (155 U.S. dollars) for publishing documents or letters online without revealing their sources or their own identity, and fines of 20 million dong (1,000 U.S. dollars) for publishing any documents connected with an official inquiry.This decree attempts to apply to blogs the censorship already in force with the traditional media. It also seriously threatens the protection and confidentiality of information sources. The government is targeting online anonymity by trying to prevent bloggers from using pseudonyms, which could make it easier for the authorities to harass them, as well as to arrest and jail them.Human rights: Non-essential?Crackdowns tend to intensify before each Congress and then relax somewhat. This time, repression was particularly harsh and the latest legal measures taken by the government bode ill for the future. The Communist Party seems to be pursuing a policy of economic openness while maintaining an iron grip on the country’s political and social life.Last year, Vietnam concluded its term as rotating Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Under its presidency, the Human Rights Committee was never called into action. Even though, in July 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she was “concerned” by the human rights situation in Vietnam, the human rights dialogue between the United States and Vietnam provided an opportunity to denounce multiple violations of freedom of expression and despite international criticism, Hanoi’s attitude has not softened. Priority is being given to the domestic political situation and to maintaining control. Stability is the key focus Receive email alerts to go further VietnamAsia – Pacific April 22, 2021 Find out more VietnamAsia – Pacific News Vietnam sentences journalist Tran Thi Tuyet Dieu to eight years in prison The “Internet threat”Internet use continues to spread among the population: 31% of Vietnamese are now connected. Young people are particularly keen about spending time online. Facebook users now number two million and 70% of them are 14 to 24 years old. The blocking of Facebook, intermittent in 2009, accelerated in December 2010, to its users’ great dismay. The latter “gathered” on the social network, forming several groups. One of them, known as “A million signatures to protest Vietnamese ISPs blocking FB”, has attracted, to date, over 46,000 Internet supporters since February 2011. Online media and blogs, mainly those hosted on WordPress, Multiply or Blogspot, thanks to contributions from citizen journalists, have acquired a de facto status equivalent to a sort of independent private press and are having a growing impact on public opinion. Websites such as Vietnam Net and Vietnam News cover such topics as corruption, social issues and the political situation. Bloggers are carrying out actual field surveys whose results could not be published in the traditional media. Thanks to the Internet and to the debate and opinion-sharing spaces which it offers, a virtual civil society has emerged. Pro-democratic activists and critics of the government have found refuge there, which worries the authorities.The most widely discussed topics are territorial disputes with China, corruption, disagreements over land ownership and freedom of expression – subjects which are rarely, if ever, mentioned in the traditional media. China’s bauxite mining activities and the related environmental risks are taboo, particularly because they are causing rifts within the party itself. The filtering of Internet websites seems to have neither increased nor declined in the last few months. The majority of bloggers practice self-censorship for fear of becoming a target for the authorities. Certain bloggers have indicated that when they write on “sensitive” subjects, their posts are deleted by “third parties.” The control measures taken by the authorities translate the regime’s concern over growing number of cybernauts who openly express their views online and use the Net as a means to compensate for the lack of freedom of expression in Vietnamese society. In growing numbers, they are demanding the right to express their opinions without being harassed by public security officers. Out of a sense of solidarity, Vietnamese bloggers chose the day when Dieu Cay was expected to be released from prison, 19 October 2010, to set up a non-official “Blogger Day”. They circulated an open letter so that everyone could pressure authorities to demand the release of all jailed bloggers and the end of Internet surveillance and censorship. The 11th Vietnamese Communist Party Congress of January 2011 marked the start of a more hard-line approach on the part of the regime to its critics, and was preceded by a new, particularly harsh wave of repression aimed at those who dare to exercise their freedom of expression. A lead weight is bearing down on the country’s dissidents. There has been massive use of cyberattacks to silence dissenting opinion. Blogging has become dangerous. Authorities close down websites or blogs in the open. On 5 May 2010, Gen. Vu Hai Trieu, Deputy Director of the Public Security Ministry, announced: “Our technical departments have destroyed 300 Internet web pages and blogs posting unsuitable contents.” , Filtering is no longer the main method used to curtail Internet freedom. The Vietnamese regime prefers to deploy cyberattacks and spyware, and to steal users’ IDs and passwords from opposition website administrators.The authorities: Instigators of anti-freedom cyberattacksCyberattacks have become commonplace, most often in the form of a “Distributed Denial-of-Service” (DDoS). This is a type of cyberattack aimed at putting a site out-of-service, by submerging it with unnecessary traffic. Although over one thousand sites were affected in 2009 – twice as many as in 2008 – according to the official Vietnamese press, that figure is said to have increased ten-fold in 2010. Among the sites targeted is the “Anhbasam” blog, well-known for its insightful content and political analyses, created by former police officer Nguyen Huu Vinh. Other targeted websites are DCV Online, bauxitevietnam.info and Doi Thoai, as well as danluan.org, danchimviet.info and danfambao.com. In late August 2010, many opposition sites and blogs were simultaneously attacked for several days, coinciding with the national holiday of 2 September. The main focus of these attacks were anti-government websites, implying that the attacks may have been orchestrated. The government involvement argument is shared by technology sector professionals. The computer security company McAfee stated in April 2020: “We believe that the perpetrators may have political motivations and may have some allegiance to the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” According to the company, a malware began circulating in December 2009. A hacker broke into the California-based Vietnamese Professionals Society’s website and replaced a Vietnamese-language keyboard programme with a malware programme, which then infected the computers of anyone who downloaded it. According to a McAfee study conducted in October 2010, domain names ending in “.com” are the most at risk and at a country level, Vietnam is now the most at risk. American Internet giant Google has also been accusing Vietnam of carrying out cyberattacks and online surveillance to muzzle critical opinions. It claims that tens of thousands of people may have been affected. The sites targeted are said to be those which discuss the highly controversial issue of the bauxite mining being done by Chinese companies, despite activists exposing them as having a harmful impact on the environment and China’s growing influence in this strategic region. Nart Villeneuve, of Toronto University’s Citizen Lab, stated to Associated Press on 1 April 2010 that these attacks and malware programmes had made it possible to infiltrate and place under surveillance human rights activists’ websites.Unmotivated assaults and pressure of all kinds: Rogue methodsThe pressures exerted on the writers and editors of the online magazine To Quoc tightened in 2010. After being threatened, army officer Dang Van Viet asked for his name to be withdrawn from the editorial board. In early February 2010, Assistant Editor Nguyen Thuong Long and journalist Nguyen Phuong Anh were interrogated by the police. In early March, security agents told the wife and children of retired Colonel Pham Que Duong, To Quoc’s former publisher, that they would have serious problems finding work if they did not get him to stop collaborating with the magazine.To Quoc’s founder, geologist Nguyen Thanh Giang, was recently summoned, threatened and interrogated several times in a police station. On 23 March 2010, some hoodlums broke into the home of physician Pham Hong Son, who had written articles posted on To Quoc, and threatened to splash urine and excrement in his house if he did not stop writing articles for the magazine.Now gravely ill, Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Roman Catholic priest who had been arrested in 2007 and later sentenced to eight years in prison for his writings, was granted an early release in March 2010 and is currently under house arrest. His case will be reexamined mid-March. He has come to symbolize pro-democracy and non-violent protest against Vietnam’s single-party regime. In January 2011, public security agents prevented American diplomat Christian Marchant and Australian MP Luke Simpkins from visiting him. Christian Marchant was roughly treated and taken to a police station, which raised an official protest from the U.S. Department of State.The government is not satisfied with mere pressure tactics. It arrests dissidents, journalists and netizens all the time.Litany of arrestsArrests are part of a cycle which began in 2007, intensified in 2009, and has been accelerating in the last few months. They have revealed the authorities’ increased sensitivity to dissidence during the run-up to the January 2011 Communist Party Congress. Dissidents have been paying a stiff price for the party internal disputes on topics such as the bauxite mining issue and corruption cases, topics disseminated on the Web.Vietnam is currently the world’s second biggest prison for netizens, with seventeen detainees: Nguyen Van Tinh, Nguyen Manh Son, Nguyen Van Tuc, Ngo Quynh, Nguyen Kim Nhan, Phan Thanh Hai, Pham Van Troi, Vu Van Hung, Tran Quoc Hien, Tran Duc Thach, Truong Quoc Huy, Dieu Cay, Nguyen Tien Trung, Nguyen Xuan Nghia, Vi Duc Hoi, Le Cong Dinh and Pham Minh Hoang. In addition, three journalists – Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, Truong Minh Duc and Nguyen Van Ly – are still behind bars.Blogger Dieu Cay, who should have been released in October 2010 after having served his two and one-half year prison sentence, is in detention, now charged with propaganda against the State and the Party by virtue of Article 88 of the Vietnamese Penal Code. Arrested in April 2008, he had been sentenced in September 2008 to two and one-half years for “tax fraud” by a Ho Chi Minh City Court. The Vietnamese authorities were actually seeking to silence this dissident, who had publicly called for people to boycott the Ho Chi Minh City leg of the Olympic torch relay on the occasion of Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Games. The blogger also had been placed under close watch since taking part, in early 2008, in demonstrations against the Chinese policy in the archipelagos of Paracels and Spratley.Phan Thanh Hai, also known as Anh Ba Saigon, was arrested in October 2010. The police allegedly questioned him in his home and seized three of his computers. According to the blogger’s wife, the police stated that her husband – later charged with promoting “propaganda against the State” – had been arrested for spreading false information on his blog, where he had discussed topics such as maritime disputes with China and bauxite mining operations, and had actively supported Vietnamese dissidents.Franco-Vietnamese blogger Pham Minh Hoang, arrested on 13 August 2010, was officially charged, on 20 September 2010, with “carrying out activities with the intent of overthrowing the government” by virtue of Article 79 of the Penal Code. and for having joined Viet Tan, the banned opposition party. The government accuses him of publishing on his blog (pkquoc.multiply.com) thirty opposition articles under the pen name Phan Kien Quoc. He also stands accused of organising an extra-curricular group of some forty students whom police claim he had intended to train to be future Viet Tan members. According to his wife, Le Thi Kieu Oanh, Pham Minh Hoang was arrested because of his opposition to a Chinese company’s plans to mine bauxite in central Vietnam’s high plateau region.Netizen Nguyen Tien Trung, a pro-democracy activist, was arrested in his parents’ home on 7 July 2009 for violating Article 88 of the Penal Code. He was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in January 2010 for having “attempted to overthrow the government.Tried together on 20 January 2010, Le Thang Long, Le Cong Dinh and Tran Huynh Duy Thuc: the first two defendants were sentenced to five, and the latter to sixteen years in prison – a judgement which was upheld on appeal on 11 May 2010. Le Cong Dinh, a well-known human rights activist who had penned numerous pro-democracy articles and defended several bloggers and freedom-of-expression activists, was arrested on 13 June 2009. He was also sentenced to three years of house arrest. Le Cong Dinh and Tran Huynh Duy were both charged with “attempting to overthrow the people’s government” and with “subversion” under Article 79 of the Vietnamese Penal Code. In January 2010 human rights activist Thang Long was given a seven-year prison sentence and placed under a three-year house arrest.Cyberdissident Vi Duc Hoi, a former Party official, was sentenced on 26 January 2011 to an eight-year prison term and a five-year house arrest for spreading anti-government propaganda and violating the laws on national security based upon/by virtue of Article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code. His lawyer, Tran Lam, announced that he would appeal. In 2007, he had been expelled from the Party after calling for democratic reforms and posting online comments about topics which the government deemed sensitive, such as expropriations, corruption and multi-party systems. His house had been searched on 7 October 2010. Arrested officially twenty days later, he was facing up to twenty years in prison. Vi Duc Hoi is a member of Bloc 8406, a pro-democratic network. Nguyen Dan Que, an independent journalist, was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City, in the south of the country, on 28 February for urging the population to “be inspired by the pro-democracy movements in Africa and the Middle East” and to “get rid of the communist dictatorship and to build a new, free, democratic, human and progressive Vietnam.” He was released 48 hours later on condition that he would cooperate closely with the authorities.Le Nguyen Huong Tra, 33, better known under her blog name “Co Gai Do Long,” was released on bail in January 2011. However, the blogger remains charged with “defaming a senior Communist Party official” and his family. She is facing a possible seven-year prison term. She had been arrested on 22 October 2010, for having called the son of a political leader a “womaniser.” Deputy national criminal police chief Maj. Gen. Cao Minh Nhan stated that the blogger had been released because her “crime had been clarified.” The blogger allegedly admitted to having posted defamatory statements. Allegedly, some restrictions have been placed on her movements.Blogger Vu Quoc Tu and his wife, blogger Trang Dem, were arrested on 1 May 2010 and prevented from leaving the country for their honeymoon. They had both participated in the January 2008 demonstration organised by blogger Dieu Cay in Saigon to oppose the Ho Chi Minh City leg of the Olympic torch relay.Blogger Ta Phong Tan, who was arrested in April 2010, has finally been released. The goal of these arrests is to prevent certain dissidents from pursuing their activities, and to persuade others to practice self-censorship. Since such measures do not seem to suffice, the regime adopted a new legal framework to control information.New legal and technical restrictionsSpyware?In April 2010, the Vietnamese authorities issued “Decision 15,” ordering over 4,000 cybercafés and Internet service providers in Hanoi to install a government-supplied software programme which might – like its temporarily suspended Chinese equivalent Green Dam – block access to some websites and set up surveillance of netizen activities. New cybercafé restrictions In August 2010, the Vietnamese authorities decided to close, by the end of 2010, all cybercafés located within a 200-metre radius of schools, in an attempt to curb online game addiction and access to “inappropriate content.” This measure allegedly concerns over 800 establishments, primarily in Saigon and Hanoi, but its enforcement has been sketchy, primarily due to economic reasons. Moreover, technical measures are expected to be implemented in order to suspend Internet links in all of the capital’s cafés from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., and all violators will be fined. A spokesman for the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs has indicated that the authorities were trying to ensure “security and a healthy/sound use” of the Internet in public places, and rejects any accusation that this constitutes a violation of freedom of expression. The Ministry had recently denounced the growing use of the Internet and of “violent and pornographic” content. A new decree to “regulate” journalists and bloggersIn the midst of the Communist Party Congress, the Hanoi government demonstrated its determination to tighten its grip on information by adopting, in January 2011, a new decree regulating journalists’ and bloggers’ activities. This decree, which was added to one of the world’s most repressive legislative arsenals, notably provides for fines of up to 40 million dong (2,000 U.S. dollars), in a country where the average salary consists of about 126 U.S. dollars. Three more independent reporters arrested in Vietnam Help by sharing this information April 7, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Vietnam News News RSF laureates support jailed Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang Organisation RSF_en April 27, 2021 Find out more March 11, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Vietnam
Recently, a report from the National Mortgage Servicing Association (NMSA) addressed the issue of vacant and abandoned properties in regard to instituting policies that standardize procedures, definitions, and best practices. The report, which was developed with input from several NMSA member organizations such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank United, Selene Finance, and others, sparked conversation amongst industry leaders nationwide.“I’ve seen the worst of the worst and I’ve seen what vacant properties do to the property itself, the value, and the communities,” said Founder and Chairman of Community Blight Solutions Robert Klein. “I think that no plywood boarding, which has been adopted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the VA, is definitely a step in the right direction where we don’t advertise vandalism and we don’t advertise vacant properties.”Based on research, the paper discusses how extended periods of vacancy encourage vandalism, squatting, and violent crime—specifically a 19 percent increase in the number of reported crimes per year within 250 feet of a foreclosed home. Klein explained that the concept of combining all the Government Sponsored Enterprises and determining one format of how the industry will protect and preserve the property issues can be summed up in one phrase: “it’s about time.”“This should’ve been done years ago,” Klein said. “There really is no reason why we have different GSEs all focused on preserving and protecting vacant properties. Why different guidelines should apply to each problem would make life much easier for preserving and protecting the property, for the communities, for the mortgage servicers, and for the GSEs as well.”Jim Taylor, SVP of Property Preservation at Wells Fargo and Chairman of the NMSA subcommittee on vacant and abandoned properties, and Gui Kahl, SVP of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and NMSA representative from Wells Fargo, in a joint statement agreed that implementing these ideas will be beneficial for all.“Finding common ground through the pursuit of these policy recommendations will create meaningful benefits for the consumer, the communities, and investors,” said Taylor and Kahl. “More importantly, such common ground supports NMSA’s leadership and partnership in the pursuit of our mutual mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and the quality of affordable homes for all.”The NMSA wants to define terms such as “occupied,” “unoccupied,” “vacant,” and “abandoned.” Because most times vacant and abandoned properties have to go through the same process as a home that remains occupied by the consumer, the likelihood of properties going into states of disrepair is much higher, resulting in detrimental effects on the consumer and lower property values for the neighborhood. The National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) said in a unified comment that aligning key definitions, guidance, and best practices across all sectors of the industry and regulatory framework is important to them and they are eager to be a part of it.“In particular, NCST supports NMSA’s efforts to standardize definitions relating to occupancy status of a residential property,” said NCST. “There is no universally accepted taxonomy across the mortgage servicing industry, and where definitions exist at all, they are frequently in conflict, making it difficult for property preservation managers to ensure that they adhere to all relevant rules.”Specifically, according to NCST, “vacant” and “abandoned” are used interchangeably too often, and the proposed distinctions are nuanced and useful.“Of particular benefit is the distinction between “unoccupied” and “vacant” in assessing whether a property should be secured and maintained by the servicer, the former status accounting for scenarios and life events such as a homeowner or lawful tenant’s vacation, sabbatical, or long-term hospitalization,” said NCST. “As NMSA works to build industry consensus for the adoption of these standard definitions, we encourage a collaborative approach that brings together community, consumer and industry voices.”As the NMSA looks to handle this pressing subject, Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado said he welcomes additional feedback from industry professionals and experts.“The issue of vacant and abandoned properties has been at the forefront of the mortgage industry for decades,” said Delgado. “I am pleased to see such a favorable response from the industry towards the NMSA paper, that by design offers real solutions. I look forward to a collaborative discussion with federal agencies, business leaders, and mortgage companies and continuing to work with communities to address such an important subject.”To view the NMSA white paper, click here. To add additional comment, please contact Derek Templeton at [email protected] in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Home / Daily Dose / Mortgage Experts Weigh in on Vacant and Abandoned Properties Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago July 19, 2017 3,962 Views Share Save Vacant and Abandoned Properties 2017-07-19 Brianna Gilpin Previous: Suburban Boom Next: An Unlikely Pair Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Mortgage Experts Weigh in on Vacant and Abandoned Properties Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation’s leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected] About Author: Brianna Gilpin The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Vacant and Abandoned Properties
People can watch individual films or all 5 in order. The information helps people who: View the understanding PIP videos on YouTube.View the British Sign Language (BSL) understanding PIP videos on YouTube. These videos are in addition to the range of support for someone going through the claims process, such as the PIP information on GOV.UK and the PIP enquiry telephone line: 0800 121 4433.What the videos are about1. Is PIP for you or someone you know?This film focuses on the steps before the claim and an overview of who might be eligible.2. Claiming PIPThis film looks at the claim process – making the initial telephone call, when you should get the form and how long you have to complete it.3. Supporting information for PIPThis film focuses on the supporting information you should include with your claim and why it’s important.4. The face-to-face assessmentThis film gives an overview of what to expect if you are asked to attend a face-to-face assessment with an independent, qualified health professional.5. The PIP decision – key things to knowThis film focuses on when a claimant has received a PIP decision letter. It also outlines the importance of reporting any changes in circumstances so that we can ensure the level of benefit they are getting is still right. are thinking about making a claim for PIP and want to find out more before they decide need more information about how long it may take and what they need to do next As part of the government’s commitment to continuously improve our services, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has today (26 April 2018) published 5 short videos to help give people an overview of the process of claiming PIP.The videos offer more choice to people who may prefer to get information about PIP through online channels, as and when they want it.These videos provide information to help explain the key stages in the PIP customer journey. They provide a clear and simple overview of the process – so that people understand what to expect at each step of the way and what they need to do when making a claim.