Last week, Viet Nam News asked its readers about the Ministry of Information and Communications' proposed regulation to limit the number of text messages a mobile phone user can send per day to stop bulk SMS spam.
Here are some of the comments:
Jasper Overgaard Waale, CTO of Golden Dragon Eye Company in HCM City
I've had the same mobile number for 13 years, I get 10-20 offers a day lately, mostly related to housing, from a New Project V***Homes. I forward every message to the 456 number as I've been directed. I was told this would cancel the sender's number.
Five minutes was the amount of time it took for me to find a spam website. Kids are tricked into sending SMS's that advertise flats or land in hopes of getting commission. They all lose time and money, except for the spam businesses and mobile operators.
If the mobile phone company limits us 50 SMS's, it will not work since software solutions like http://www.smscaster.com can work around it. The real solution is if more people forward spam SMS to 456 and telephone companies block the sending number, the reference number, and fine the websites and people who buy their service.
Andrew Burden, Canadian living in Ha Noi
Rather than blame the victim, the Vietnamese government should chase after offending spamming companies.
On occasion, I send out a bunch of messages. Let the receiver block me if they want. Why should I be punished and limited?
They should set up a programme and threaten to fine telephone networks if they allow bulk messages. I'm sure companies will voluntarily ‘comply' to clean up this unwanted, electronic white noise.
I'm sure there are plenty of legitimate reasons some people want and need to send out multiple messages. If a child goes missing we have the Amber Alert system. Are you going to restrict that?
Reconsider this knee-jerk policy. Go after big fish. Leave us minnows alone to read news online, play games or send more than five messages in five minutes.
If I were to send just one message to my students in public school...well you know how big classes are! I would be over my limit of 50 per day-with just one classroom.
Vu Sy Quan, doctor at the Hospital E in Ha Noi
In my opinion, limiting the number of SMS's violates freedom of communication between individuals. Buying simcards to call and send as many SMS's you want is a personal right and freedom which cannot be violated.
The SMS limit proposed by the Ministry of Information and Communications is unfeasible. It also exposes a weakness in management of mobile phone subscribers.
At my job, I cannot always call and answer the phone so I have to send a lot of SMS's. So, I personally do not agree with the proposed regulations. Furthermore, I am afraid that the regulation may be yet another regulation that wastes money.
Gabrielle Boulanger, French teacher in Ha Noi
I receive two to three spams a day. No matter how many SMS I send in one day, I always receive the same amount of SMS spam each day. So, I am not sure regulations are going to solve the issue.
However, even if they would, I disagree with the proposal. I am not the type of person who calls people a lot; I prefer to communicate with SMS. That is why I want to feel free to have a conversation via SMS without counting my words.
I have to admit, even the limited number of SMS we would be able to send is quite high. I never send more than 50 SMS a day, but I have learned to live with my couple of spams a day. It doesn't really bother me anymore.
I think it would be a better idea if people bothered by it could individually ask their mobile services to control the SMS spam.
I never had this problem before. In France, we never receive spam on our phones.
Ryutaro Tominaga, Japanese, in HCM City
I personally think that 50 SMSs per day could prevent the bulk of spamming. However, it can also ruin people's freedom to use SMS.
For people who use SMS as a chatting system, it would add a whole new layer of conditions when communicating with each other. They would continuously worry about the time and their word limit every day.
Nguyen Thu Van, in Ha Noi
If the regulations come into effect, it will badly affect my businesses. As a customer service manager for a beauty salon, I usually send SMS's to my clients who agree to receive my updates about new products or services. I can send dozens of messages in a short time.
Limiting SMS will cause difficulties for me when I need to inform and contact my clients.
I think the regulation is unfair because I registered for my mobile account, why should I be treated as unregistered account or fraudster?
Nguyen The Long, a businessman in Binh Duong Province
I think the regulations are nonsense. If the Ministry of Information and Communication wants to stop bulk SMS, then they need to control subscribers.
From my observations, only in Viet Nam can people easily buy and use mobile phone simcards.
We can learn from South Korea. Each person can register for a maximum of two mobile phone numbers. The subscribers must declare their identity number and register with their residential address.
To stop the spam SMS, the ministry should think of sanctioning people or organisations that spread spam rather than issue a regulation that causes discomfort for all mobile phone users.
Authorised agencies should ask mobile phone service providers to control the issue of simcards.
Nguyen Dang Khoa, in Da Nang City
I think the regulation is unfeasible. As a student, I usually use SMS with my friends. My girlfriend and I exchange 100 SMSs a day. The regulation violates my freedom because I spend money for my mobile phone service, so why should they control how many messages I can send? It is really ridiculous.
Additionally, if SMS is limited but not unregistered simcards, the result will be zero. If someone has 10 sim cards they can still disturb others with 500 SMS's a day.
The ministry should have a wiser solution to cope with the situation. — VNS