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After Alleged Hacking, Hanoi Online Poll on Wartime Loudspeaker Reopens

The saga surrounding Hanoi’s wartime loudspeakers is more complicated than meets the eye.

Earlier in January, during a monthly meeting between the Hanoi People’s Committee and other municipal departments, Nguyen Duc Chung, head of the committee, ordered city officials to assess the usefulness of public loudspeakers in Hanoians’ daily lives.

The news garnered a range of responses from citizens and netizens, however, most considered these wartime relics a nuisance and hoped to get rid of them. Later in the month, on January 25, Hanoi authorities decided to make it official and opened an online poll where citizens could voice their opinions on the matter.

Things were fine until February 7, when capital officials announced that the poll would be closed temporarily due to suspicion of hacking. According to Phan Lan Tu, head of the Hanoi Department of Information and Communication, an abnormal surge in the number of responses the day before prompted the department to suspend voting for a short while.

“From Monday morning to 11:25am, the responses increased from 3,000 to 178,000, and 48% of the total responses said it was necessary to continue using loudspeakers. Before Monday, about 80% of the responses said loudspeakers were unnecessary,” she told VietnamNet.

Most of the suspicious votes – hailing from just four IP addresses – were in favor of keeping the loudspeakers, however Tu denied the possibility of hacking and suggested that the discrepancies were due to a system error.

Last Thursday, February 9, the online portal was reopened, reports VietnamNet, however relevant government agencies did not comment further about the alleged hacking.

This time, the poll will be available until March 10 – unless, of course, loudspeaker enthusiasts decide to overwhelm the system again. If you happen to live in Hanoi and have something to say about these wartime relics, try your hand at the survey, available here only in Vietnamese, or email your response to

[Photo via Thoi Bao]

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