US use of Vietnam pirate website under review

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is reviewing a U.S. embassy's use of a popular Vietnamese website laden with pirated music and Hollywood movies to promote American values, including respect for intellectual property rights.

Spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday that the Hanoi embassy's social media account with Zing.vn was created to reach out to Vietnamese youth in a restricted environment but that concerns about digital piracy on the site had prompted it to reconsider. He said that "some of the contents of this website are suspect and run counter to our Internet freedom policy."

The Associated Press reported on Monday from Vietnam that the embassy's use of its "Zingme" account had raised questions about whether Washington is legitimizing a site known for violating intellectual property rights that the U.S. vocally supports.

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