[CREATE] Free as in Speech, and Vietnam?
cberger at cberger.net
Thu Jun 10 04:57:26 PDT 2010
On Tuesday 08 June 2010, Tor Lillqvist wrote:
> I don't want to be a killjoy, but doesn't the Human Rights situation
> in Vietnam leave much to be desired? Do we care? Should we care? (For
> some value of "we".)
> If visiting the US is a problem for political/privacy/whatever reasons
> to some people in the community, would the same people have a problem
> visiting Vietnam?
To be honest, the problem with the US is more the border control policy, and
the difficulty to get a visa for many menbers of the community, the privacy
issue is really minor, if you are so affraid of it, either don't come with a
computer and enjoy many more social interractions or buy a 100€ netbook that
will allow to check your mail with a ssh connection to your home country (or
the host could manage to find us a room with a lot of computers in "libre"
So the real questions for Vietnam (or any contry) is: is it easy for the
member of the community to get a VISA ? Is it safe to travel (how likely are
the participant going to die) ? What are the chance to be randomly arrested
(many countries have restrictrive law for gays and that might be a problem) ?
What kind of restriction on freedom of speech ? And also the question of the
travel cost (myself I would consider both economical cost and
The last question is probably what is your concern about Vietnam. I would first
note that LGM has been first held in France which has many restrictions on
freedom of speech, but it didn't cause problems for us, since it concerns
things like insulting other people, or claiming that recent event in the
history did not happen. Clearly, Vietnam has stronger restrictions, but I am
going to guess they mainly concern criticism of the government, and honestly,
I do not think it is a problem, I consider it is rather impolte to come visit
a country and start to criticise it. I would not appreciate if a foreigner
comes to France and start to criticize our gouvernment and tell us what we
should do instead. In other word, the freedom to criticize the Vietnamese
government is a problem that concern only the Vietnamese.
But if the law of the host country restrict freedom in such a way that is not
legal to discuss free software, or that would make illegal some aspect of the
meeting, then obviously we should avoid that country.
> I know I wouldn't feel comfortable in a conference about one kind of
> freedom (the free software kind) that would (presumably) be sponsored
> by a government that is not that interested in more basic and
> universal kinds of freedom.
You have to consider that holding such an event is also a way to promote
freedom in the country.
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