Target: President Truong Tan Sang
Goal: Stop hackers from obstructing the pro-Democracy movement in Vietnam
Dubbed the ‘Cyber Troops,’ a group of hackers have humiliated and defamed activists who are a part of the pro-Democratic movement in Vietnam. The hackers block, hack, and spy on Vietnamese activists and have become more threatening as they have started targeting non-Vietnamese pro democracy activists, violating laws of other countries. With very little rights to freedom of speech already available to Vietnamese citizes, this hacking group needs to be stopped at all costs.
A victim of one of these attacks, Ngoc Thu, was working on her blog in California when she sensed something had gone wrong with her laptop. Her keystrokes were taking longer to register and she wasn’t able to copy and paste anything. Several days later, her personal emails and photos were displayed on the blog alongside defamatory messages. Thu wasn’t able to delete the messages or have any access to her personal blog “Ba Sam,” which is one of the best known dissident blogs. The blog discusses news and other related political events across Vietnam, topics that the state media would never cover.
Thu is a United States citizen, but fights for democracy in Vietnam. Malicious software was able to get onto her computer when she clicked on a suspicious link in her email. Three others received this email: a British Associated Press reporter, a France-based Vietnamese math professor and democracy activist, and an American who is a member of an online activist group. These three did not click the link, but it shows that the hackers are not afraid to cross international borders to stop the spread of democracy.
These activists, no matter where they live, have a right to freedom of speech, even if their native countries forbid it. Vietnam has a long history of censoring their citizens and punish those who do not support the country’s current political system. Sign this petition and urge the Vietnamese President to do more to find and prosecute these hackers.
Dear President Truong Tan Sang,
I am concerned with the growing number of hackers who are blocking, hacking, and spying on both Vietnamese and foreign pro democracy activists. These hackers are accessing personal files and data, violating their victim’s rights to privacy, and humiliating them and their families. They are promoting slander, leaving defamatory messages on victims’ websites and threatening to kill. It has also stopped the victims from promoting their cause, which is a great injustice. This hostility needs to stop, as these hackers are not afraid to break international law.
I am demanding that you put forth more effort in finding these hackers and prosecuting them for their crimes. No matter what the law of the country says, all humans have the right to freedom of speech and privacy. This hacker group is violating both rights and need to be stopped immediately before other countries are forced to step in.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Presidencia Peru