In April, local officials issued new regulations covering Internet cafes and service providers in Hanoi, ostensibly designed to crack down on hacking and other service abuses. Buried in the regulations is a mandate that service providers must add special software to their domain servers, used to authenticate systems on the network.
Nobody quite knows what the software is, but activists in the U.S. worry that it may be used to clamp down on Internet usage in a country that has seen more and more grassroots information-sharing on social networks over the past year. Last year China tried to force PC makers to ship Green Dam censorware with all computers sold in the country, saying the software would help crack down on online pornography. But Chinese authorities — already known for their notorious Great Firewall [spam URL stripped] — eventually backed off from their plans after critics raised a host of privacy, security and system stability concerns, and Chinese Internet users showed no interest in installing the program."
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