back to article Vietnam threatens to cut off two million mobile subscribers

Almost two million mobile phone subscribers in Vietnam are at risk of having their services severed, thanks to a new government policy that seeks to curb spam. As of April 1, the government required personal information listed for mobile phone numbers to match details listed in an official national database. Account holders …

  1. sitta_europea Silver badge

    "On March 19, local media reported only 25 percent of the 165 million-plus SIMS needing registration in the Philippines were complaint...."

    On the contrary, I've been complaining for years!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Registering sims wont stop crime

    The existing evidence regarding the effects of mandatory SIM registration on the suppression of crime is clear - it has no direct effect. The Home Office, if it undertakes the review suggested by HMIC, will have to look very hard to find information supporting a contrary view.

    1. Nnighthawk658

      Re: Registering sims wont stop crime

      Yea this policy will not stop scams or any other crimes for that matter sim cards and mobile phones are just a small part of a very large communications network and frankly most people these days who have smartphones communicate via internet based services such a as WhatsApp Viber and FB messenger because it's free

      So a drug dealer cannot communicate via text message oh well all he needs is a free WiFi network and an encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp job done

      Scammers generally don't even use mobile phones with a Sim to send scam messages anyway majority of it is sent using internet using VoIP or spoofing services

      For me as I call abroad often for business and family I use SpoofCard as well as a premium on Skype this is to get around being ripped off with international calling charges but I can log into SpoofCard and send you a text message and the number will show in your country even tho I'm not even there

      And that's how scammers are operating they use these systems mostly services that does bulk SMS blasting where they can write one message add a list of numbers hit send and it will reach thousands

      I have questioned this with the government agencies in Philippines as we have the same policy recently put in place and typically they never respond

      This is less about security and safety and crime prevention but rather more about benefitting the government this will benefit tax offices going after people who work online such as bloggers who earn or online sellers

      They recently started to target online sellers but not so easy as they can hide behind unregistered sims good thing they can't block VPNs yet haha

  3. jmch Silver badge

    Security vs Privacy

    Same old argument all over again.

    If the data on who owns which number is completely available and correct, there is no guarantee that the company or government (or both) holding it will not abuse it.

    If the data on who owns which number is not completely available and correct, there is no guarantee that anonymous users will not use their anonymity for criminal purposes.

    As long as there are governments that are authoritarian, corrupt, or both; and as long as criminals exist, there is no possible 'correct' answer - it is an unsolvable problem.

    It's a question of balance. How much crime are we willing to have to deal with as the price of freedom from invasive government? How much government intrusion are we willing to accept to reduce crime??? Personally I go with the western liberal practice of tending to come down on the side of privacy and presumption of innocence, but there is no real 'right' answer

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Security vs Privacy

      Look at the hacking, malware and virus crime these days - now, if you are my age, think about how much crime like this we used to see in the 50's. So the entire world would be a much safer world if we simply dumped the internet and phone data transfers everywhere. I used to love the internet for years after it first appeared, but these days COVID seems much nicer and safer than every day's 24 hour world-wide internet access and "NewPurchaseOrder_PDF.exe" mail deliveries.

      Flip the icon lips for how I loved the internet, but the posted version basically just shows whats happening all the time nowadays - returning to the past might help so long as we don't go back to the old days of eating a ten snail soup for dinner.

    2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Security vs Privacy

      Replace "number" with "firearm" in your post and you will realize why we in the US are so opposed to any policy that institutes a firearms registry.

      It WILL be abused!

  4. Nnighthawk658

    Sim card registration will never stop scams this policy has been tried and tested before and some countries even scrapped it

    Government's should focus more on where scammers get our numbers from in the first place

    For example here in the Philippines scam texts became a serious problem and rampant not long after the covid vaccination registration websites become active after that scams got worse in fact many have complained of seeing names in these scams even I got scam texts with my name in it and the only place both my mobile number and name came together was the use of the vaccine registration website

    I'm very strict when it comes to privacy I never share my real information unless it's absolutely necessary for this very reason to prevent risk of my details being used by scammers

    Now just imagine government websites being hacked and details being leaked as it appears in the scams the past couple years and how safe is our data with telcos especially when we have a Telco that's partly owned by the Chinese

    I don't believe this policy is about security and combatting crimes especially with the advance in technology and scammers can simply just turn to internet to send scam messages

    In fact one thing I have observed with scam messages is often the numbers are very similar especially first 4 digits as well as scam messaging appearing roughly around same time if the day give and take an hour either side this suggest most of these scams are actually being sent using online services such a as bulk text message services

    Frankly speaking I believe this is more about government especially tax departments now they can use these details to go after those online sellers bloggers and other online workers

    And how will this stop scammers when scammers can simply use services like SpoofCard or other VoIP services that offer text messaging and easily change numbers what's to stop them from just targeting people by using WhatsApp Viber and other messaging apps Facebook and telegram are 2 services where scams are rampant I'm sure everyone has seen the forex trading and Bitcoin investment scams flooding Facebook comments

    For those who are serious about privacy take the steps to protect yourself use a VPN for all Internet activities abandon the use of text messaging on mobile phones and use free apps like WhatsApp and Viber as these are encrypted and resort to calling from those free apps if you must use your phone to send a text think about using apps like SpoofCard or online texting sites

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