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Facebook 'blackout' could affect Vietnam expatriate medical insurance customers

Residents fear Facebook’s growing popularity in Vietnam may have prompted the country’s government to block access to the social networking site.

Around one million Vietnamese are members of the site, with many joining after developers launched a version in their native language.

Over the last week, however, access to the site has reportedly been intermittent, apparently dependent on which internet service members choose to use.

An unnamed expatriate told the Associated Press they found the disruption a serious inconvenience as it made it more difficult to keep in touch with friends and family back home.

The news service points to the circulation of an unauthenticated document suggesting a blackout could be the work of the government.

Dated August 27th, the memo reportedly instructs internet service providers to block access to Facebook and several lesser-known sites.

A technician at Vietnam Data Corporation said officials had told his firm to restrict access, which they did on November 11th, although this has been denied by the company’s chief executive Vu Hoang Lien.

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