The free speech advocates Access Now have lambasted the country’s shutdown of Facebook, saying Vietnam’s government blocked the social media site’s 30 million users in the country from accessing it to stifle pro-democracy messages. “Internet shutdowns must never be allowed to become the new normal,” Access Now said. “Often justified in the name of public safety, shutdowns instead cut off access to vital information, e-financing, and emergency services, plunging whole societies into fear and destabilizing the internet’s power to support small business livelihoods and drive economic development. Ironically, shutdowns are terrible for trade as well—ostensibly a purpose of President Obama’s visit.“
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