Defending national sovereignty on the Internet

VietNamNet Bridge – There is a “struggling” to defend national sovereignty that has silently taken place in many years: buying and keeping domain names related to Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.


Since late 2007, when China perversely called Vietnam’s Hoang Sa – Truong Sa archipelagoes as Xisha and Nansha and set up a so-called Shansha government, a silent struggling has taken place on the Internet to defend Vietnam’s sovereignty. Many Vietnamese people have registered international domain names of Xisha, Nansha or Shansha.

A representative of the Hoang Sa Data Center (www.hoangsa.org) said that the center is holding eight international domain names related to the English names of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.

The representative said that many members of Chinese forums showed their worry over and wanted to have international domain names that Vietnam owned to have “correct cause and strong words” to the world.

People who are interested in research works on Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea would know research Duong Danh Huy, a member of the East Sea Research Foundation. Huy, who lives in Singapore, has published many articles about Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa-Truong Sa on local and foreign newspapers. Since 2008, Huy has silently bought international domain names of Xisha, Nansha and Sansha. Huy currently has around 30 domain names of this kind.

Tran Duy Nguyen, 27, an employee of a travel firm in Hanoi, who holds the Sanshacity domain name, said: “This domain name is not for sale. I keep it to defend the country’s sovereignty.”

Nguyen said he had bought this domain name recently and he did it personally because “I cannot accept China’s acts.”

Nguyen Dac Hung, 25, an engineer of a water supply company in HCM City, began to buy domain names related to Vietnam’s islands. At present, he has five international domain names of Xisha and Sansha. Hung said many people emailed him to offer for buying these domain names at very high prices.

“I usually buy domain names of big groups in Vietnam and re-sell these names for these groups, but I will never sell these domain names, at any price. I cannot sell the country’s honor and sovereignty,” Hung said.

Hung and Nguyen said they were willing to give these domain names to Lao Dong Newspaper. Representatives of the East Sea Research Foundation and Hoang Sa Data Center also wished to cooperate with lao Dong to call for people who are holding domain names of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa to join together to defend the national sovereignty on the Internet.

Difficulties

Nguyen Dac Hung paid around $20/one domain names and annual fee of VND250,000 ($1.2)/one domain name, via a HCM City-based company – VinaHost. However, because of this firm’s irresponsibility, two out of five domain names held by Hung were lost to foreigners.

In December 2011, Hung went to VinaHost’s office to pay annual fees for three Xisha domain names in 2012. VinaHost received VND750,000 ($34) of fees from Hung and sent a confirmation email to Hung. Hung was sure that his ownerships of these domain names were extended to the end of 2012. However, in March 2012, Hung checked and could not believe that two of the three domain names were bought by a company in the US and an individual in China.

VinaHost explained that this was caused by “system error” and their staff did not know about this until Hung disclosed the fact.

Hung tried to contact the Chinese to re-purchase the domain name but he failed, while the US company offers for sale that domain name at $1,400.

“I met with VinaHost’s director Nguyen Viet Nam and Nam admitted his company’s fault. He offered me VND10 million ($500) for the losing of the two domain names,” Hung said.

However, Hung refused and would bring the case to court.

Hoang Viet, a lecturer from the HCM City Law University, a member of the East Sea Research Foundation, said that the state should more strictly manage the operation of domain name registration companies like VinaHost to avoid losses and to ensure domain names related to Vietnam’s sovereignty do not fall into the hands of wrongdoers.

Viet said that buying and keeping international domain names related to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa is “extremely necessary.”

“This is a significant diplomatic channel to defend our sovereignty. With these domain names, we can set up websites to give accurate information about Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea to the world, including Chinese,” Viet added.

Researcher Le Vinh Truong, from the East Sea Research Foundation, said that it is necessary to have an organization to gather social resources to continue the struggle for national sovereignty on the Internet.

Lao Dong

 
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