by Tony Cartalucci
11 May 2017
Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer,
especially for the online magazine "New
Nations are beginning to take more seriously the control of their
respective information space after years of allowing US-based tech
Facebook to monopolize and exploit
Vietnam, according to a
recent GeekTime article, is the latest
nation to begin encouraging local alternatives to the search engine
and social media network in order to rebalance the monopoly over
information both tech giants enjoy in the Southeast Asian country
Facebook - More than Search Engines and Social Media
The two tech giants and others like them may have appeared at their
inceptions to political, business, and military leaders around the
world as merely opportunistic corporations seeking profits and
However, Google and Facebook, among others, have become clearly much
more than that.
Both have verifiably worked with the US State Department in pursuit
of geopolitical objectives around the world, from the collapse of
the Libyan government to attempts at regime change in Syria, and
using social media and information technology around the world to
manipulate public perception and achieve sociopolitical goals on
behalf of Wall Street and Washington for years.
The use of social media to control a targeted nation's information
space, and use it as a means of carrying out sociopolitical
subversion and even regime change reached its pinnacle in 2011
during the US-engineered "Arab Spring."
Portrayed at first
as spontaneous demonstrations organized organically over Facebook
and other social media platforms, it is now revealed in articles
like the New York Times', "U.S.
Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings," that the US
government had trained activists years ahead of the protests, with
Google and Facebook participating directly in making preparations.
funded and supported by the US State Department's National Endowment
for Democracy (NED) and its subsidiaries,
...were invited to several summits where executives and
technical support teams from Google and Facebook provided them with
the game plans they would execute in 2011 in coordination with US
and European media who also attended the summits.
The end result was
the virtual weaponization of social media, serving as cover for what
was a long-planned, regional series of coups including heavily armed
militants who eventually overthrew the governments of,
Syria now locked in 6 years of war as
It was during
Syria's ongoing conflict that Google would find itself involved
The Guardian in a 2012 article titled, "Syria
- Is it possible to rename streets on Google Maps?," would report:
In their struggle to free Syria
from the clutches of President Bashar al-Assad, anti-government
activists have embarked on a project to wipe him off the map.
On Google Maps, major Damascus thoroughfares named
after the Assad family have appeared renamed after heroes of the
uprising. The Arab Spring has form in this regard.
rebels tore into Tripoli last August, the name of the city's
main square on the mapping service changed overnight - from
"Green Square", the name given to it by the erstwhile dictator,
to "Martyr's Square", its former title.
The internet giant's mapping
service has a history of weighing in on political disputes.
in nations without local alternatives ensures that public perception
is lopsidedly influenced by these deceptive methods.
Independent in a 2016 article titled, "Google
planned to help Syrian rebels bring down Assad regime - Leaked Hillary Clinton emails claim," would expand on
Google's activities regarding Syria:
An interactive tool
created by Google was designed to encourage Syrian
rebels and help bring down the Assad regime, Hillary
Clinton's leaked emails have reportedly revealed.
By tracking and mapping
defections within the Syrian leadership, it was
reportedly designed to encourage more people to defect
and 'give confidence' to the rebel opposition.
Clearly, more is going on at Google than Internet
would be equally irresponsible to allow a foreign
corporation to exercise control over their respective
information space - especially in light of verified,
documented abuses - as they would by allowing foreign
corporations to exercise control over other essential
aspects of national infrastructure.
Vietnam Taking Control of
its Information Space
GeekTime article, shared by the US State Department's
NDI on Twitter titled, "Is
Vietnamese campaign to build a Facebook alternative
fighting fake news, or fostering censorship?,"
During a parliamentary committee meeting earlier
this month, Truong Minh Tuan, Minister of
Information and Communications in Vietnam, said
that the government is encouraging Vietnamese tech
companies to build local replacements for platforms
such as Facebook and Google (which are the most
popular in their categories in Vietnam).
article also reported:
is part of a wider campaign to "strengthen cyber
security" and the integrity of the country's
"The plan is to try and address the
problem of how 'fake pages' with anti-government
content grew uncontrollably on Facebook," said Tuan.
"Going further, we need social networks provided by
local businesses that can replace and compete with Facebook in Vietnam."
mention of the article is meant to imply that the
Vietnamese government stands to profit from the
localization of search engines and social media - and it
However, the localization of Vietnam's information
space is no different than the localization of Vietnam's
defense industry, energy and water infrastructure,
schools, and healthcare institutions.
They are the
Vietnamese people's to control, not Washington, Wall
Street, or Silicon Valley's. Whether
the Vietnamese government abuses that localization or
not is the business of the Vietnamese people.
concern NDI has is that once the localization of
information technology is complete in Vietnam, forever
will these effective vectors of sociopolitical
subversion be closed to the corporate-financier special
interests driving US foreign policy and the work of
fronts like NDI.