Laos Joins Southeast Asian Internet Crackdown

Government introduces monitoring of social networks

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Sakchai Lalit / AP

Misleading information about the recent plane crash in Laos is cited as an example of what the country's new Internet regulations will combat.

Laos is adding to the increasing crackdown on social media in South-East Asia, as it introduces regulations to enable official monitoring of Internet users posting what authorities deem to be incorrect or inappropriate information or photos.

Speaking to the Vientiane Times, the Director General of the Lao government’s communications ministry cited inaccurate information circulating on Facebook after last week’s Lao Airlines plane crash as an example of unconstructive use of social networking sites.

The ministry will take inspiration from neighboring China and Vietnam in drafting the new directives, which will affect the country’s 400,000 Facebook users, up from 60,000 in 2011.

[Vientiane Times]