Last week, Việt Nam News invited readers’ feedback on the decision to block unregistered SIM cards in a bid to crackdown on advertising and fraudulent messages. Most of them welcomed the move.
Nhật Tân, Vietnamese
I have been working in the telecommunication sector for a long time, so I understand this issue well. I would say it is a serious problem for the State and customers. In my opinion, the decision to stop unregistered SIMs has been very late in coming, but it is very important. Better late than never. I also think it is one of the best directives from the new Minister of Information and Communication. The official documents related to this issue are very clear, fair and applicable for telecom providers and their sales agencies.
Obviously, the number of spam messages has decreased quickly after the decision, proving that the policy is right. But people have also said that this move may negatively affect the business of operators and wholesalers. I do not agree, because the need of customers is a constant and they will not stop using current telecom services. Now they have to use services legally and the income of telecom companies will improve.
Vương Tiến Thành, Vietnamese, Hà Nội
I think this is a wise decision. In fact, for many years, I have been constantly bothered by anonymous numbers, spam or advertising messages. I even lost my money when answering messages or calls. This has caused a lot of trouble. When users are required to register SIM cards, spam messages will be minimised. Besides, I think there should be better co-ordination between the Government and the service providers to crackdown on spam messages and calls.
Giang Phan, Vietnamese overseas student in Australia
I totally support the rule to register SIM cards. I have been living in Australia for years and I see registered SIM cards as the way to fight spam texts and make it easier to control phone accounts. All the registrations should be done online to make the process faster and more convenient.
Satyam Sharma, Indian, Singapore
Yes I support the move, because no one can make fake calls. In Singapore, even if you are visiting the country for a short time, when you buy a SIM card, you need to present your passport or driving licence. Your information will be saved and you can get the SIM card legally.
Mai Hải, Vietnamese, HCM City
I feel registering SIM cards is necessary. It is a good way to control phone accounts. When I lost my SIM some time ago, it was too hard to me to get it back. I also had many difficulties contacting my friends. So I think SIM registration can protect my personal information and make it easier to get my phone number back if I lose it.
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Hà Nội
Privacy (and identity theft) is a real problem in this modern, inter-connected world. The Government’s response requiring people register SIM cards is understandable, but predictable and wrong.
I hate unsolicited advertising. I hate the idea of companies tracking my movements for profit. But I still see no reason to give the Government my personal information.
Blaming the citizen-customer and making him become more visible is going down the wrong path. How is my registering personal information with the Government going to stop aggressive advertisers? Blame, fine and punish the companies with the fake names, and stop companies from sending unwanted ads.
Việt Nam can no more control famous Nigerian Princes who email me, offering to send millions of dollars any more than the United States’s NSA could stop Edward Snowden. Registering a SIM card is like closing the barn door after the horse has left the paddock.
It is possible to buy a ‘burner’ phone back home without giving your name. I can use an ID blocker while surfing the Net and wifi cafes to mask my trail. Unfortunately this new normal includes cyber attacks.
That is why I pay in cash. I used to refill products at The Body Shop. They wanted to know my name. I told them I was Mister X. — VNS