Each day the error message continues to come up, there seems to be more credence behind what was once a rumour: Facebook is being blocked in Vietnam. Explanations abound: dissident ideas were starting to seep into the social networking site; too many Vietnamese girls were posting provocative photos, thereby violating social evil strictures; etc, etc, etc.
One thing remains true though: I am unable to poke anyone.
There’s been some talk about a scanned version of a document from some ministry or another handing down the order to firewall Facebook in Vietnam, but I haven’t been able to find anything conclusive yet. Will try to hunt something down soon … right after I find a reliable proxy server.
Update: Just heard from my creative director another possible reason for the Facebook troubles. Apparently FTP, the country’s second largest Internet provider somehow screwed up access codes to sites that require security. So essentially, there’s some sort of security clash happening between the FTP and Facebook, and the net result is that Facebook is essentially blocking itself.
Neither of us know very much about servers, so we can’t verify any of this, but what is interesting is that the FTP issue has also affected our Internet access at the office, forcing us to switch to a secondary service: VDC. There seems to be no problem accessing Facebook on VDC, which is the largest Internet provider in Vietnam and owned by the government, to boot. If Facebook is being blocked, I’m not sure why we’d be able to access it on a government-owned service provider.
Sidenote: Our general director looked at the scanned copy floating around and said it proves nothing; it could be an intra-office suggestion to block Facebook that came from some corner of the Ministry of Culture and got shot down.