VietNamNet Bridge – The fact that Baidu Tra da quan (ice tea shop) social
network, belonging to Chinese Baidu group, turning up in Vietnam--has raised big
worries among the Vietnamese Internet community. Not only causing big damages to
Vietnamese organizations and businesses, the websites contain malware scouting
Vietnam fails to control the content of the website
The decree does not stipulate that foreign institutions and enterprises which provide online social network services must set up servers, representative offices or legal status in Vietnam. Therefore, Baidu Tra da quan has made corrupt use of the loopholes to operate in Vietnam without registering its operation in Vietnam without legal status and server in Vietnam.
The presence of the Chinese social network in Vietnam has raised big worries to the Internet community. Since Vietnamese agencies cannot control the content and the operation way of the website, Vietnam would not be able to collect tax from the social network which would also cause damages to domestic organizations and businesses.
However, experts have warned about a higher risk – the national security may be threatened with the presence of the social network.
Having realized the loopholes of the Decree No. 97, the Ministry of Information and Communication is compiling a new decree with stricter regulations which would replace the currently valid decree. Under the draft decree, foreign institutions and enterprises which provide social network services in Vietnam must set up their representative offices in Vietnam or appoint individual or institutional representatives in Vietnam.
However, the decree is still being drafted which would be submitted to the government before it comes out.
A tool to scout users
A lot of people have warned about the risks to be caused by the Chinese social network. A reader of Nguoi lao dong newspaper emailed to the editorial board, saying that after accessing some Chinese Baidu’s service websites, he saw a lot of unusual phenomena. The user was asked to install some more apps with no clear origin.
“When I accessed the websites, Windows gave warning against the safety of the websites,” he said.
Vo Do Thang, Director of Athena Training and Network Security Center, said the websites contain malware to scout users. Once users access the websites, malware would penetrate into the computers, collect users’ information and send the information to hackers.
“In this case, it would be better to remove strange apps, scan to find viruses, and bring your computers to experts who would help settle your problems,” Thang said.
While the Vietnamese Internet community has been worried about the threat to the national security, Tran Minh Tan, Deputy Director of VNNIC, has confirmed that VNNIC has granted the domain name to Baidu Tra da quan social network.
Minh has affirmed that granting domain names is a normal work, and that Vietnamese people have the right to register international domain names, while foreigners also have the right to register domain names in Vietnam.
“If we do not grant the domain name, they may use other domain names, because this is just a tool to access the website,” he said.
When asked if there is the threat on the national security when the social network operates in Vietnam, Minh said the inspectors of the Ministry of Information and Communication would have to inspect the network to find out wrongdoings.