October 27, 2000
His Excellency Khamtay Siphandone
President, Lao People's Democratic Republic
Office of the President
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply disturbed by your government's efforts to restrict the exchange of news and information over the Internet.
A notice published in the October 26 edition of the Vientiane Times, a government newspaper, warned people "not to use the Internet in the wrong way" and included a number of rules governing online content. The guidelines had been circulated a few days earlier by the Khao Sane Pathet Lao (KPL) news agency, which stated that those who disregard the rules "will be warned, educated, fined, expelled, or prosecuted according to the law," as reported by The Associated Press.