Websites face hefty fines for granting on-line visas illegally
Information and Communications inspectors punished four websites using the gov.vn domain name for granting visas illegally.
Vietnamvisa.gov.vn had its domain name registered by the People's Committee of Dang Xa Commune in Gia Lam District, visavietnam.gov.vn was registered by the Statistics Office of northern Bac Giang Province's Luc Ngan District and Vietnam-visa.gov.vn was registered by the People's Committee of Hai Phu Commune in northern Nam Dinh Province.
The other website, visatovietnam.gov.vn, was found to have forged registration by the Ministry of Labours, Invalids and Social Affairs' International Co-operation Department.
The first two websites were found to be using the image of the national flag and coat of arms to gain more prestige.
The domain name of the website vietnamvisa.gov.vn was transferred to Cao Van Hieu to manage after it was initially registered under the name of Nguyen Ba Hoang, Vice Chairman of Dang Xa Commune's People's Committee.
Hieu then set up the website and co-operated with the EVIVA tourism company to provide online visa-related services. The website has so far granted visas to around 600 people, gaining VND200 million ($US9,500).
The domain name of the website visavietnam.gov.vn was registered by Head of the Statistics Office of Luc Ngan District Le Hong Hai. It was then given to Ngo Duy Bien to set up a website specialising in granting visas. It has so far granted visas to between 8,000-9,000 people.
Inspectors of the Ministry of Information and Communications proposed fining Hieu and Bien VND30 million ($1,400) each for using the national flag and coat of arms.
Inspectors also asked authorities of Gia Lam District and Bac Giang province to punish those who signed and used their seals to register the domain names.
As for Vietnam-visa.gov.vn, Vice Chairman of Nam Dinh Province's Hai Phu commune's People's Committee Duong Trung Tinh said he was swindled into signing and stamping the website's registration form The case is under further investigation.
The domain name of website Visatovietnam.gov.vn was registered by a forged signature of Head of the International Co-operation Department Le Kim Dung. The signature was found to be forged by Hoang Tuan Anh, a member of the department.
The domain name was then taken over by Do Son Ha, the director of Indochina Treks Tourism Company in Thuong Tin, a suburban district of Ha Noi. His website has granted visas for 64 people.
Ha was fined more than VND16.2 million ($771) for collecting, handling and using personal information of others via the Internet and for providing false information about services and transaction conditions via an online shopping website.
Inspectors proposed the International Co-operation Department punish Tuan Anh for forging the signature of the department's head.
The ministry ordered the Viet Nam Internet Centre to withdraw the above domain names and to check all domain names registered by State organisations and agencies in order to revoke domain names that were not used in line with the functions and duties of registering agencies and organisations.
Under current regulations, organisations and individuals using domain names must take responsibility for the maintenance and management of the domain name and take responsibility for any infringement of regulations due to inadequate management of the domain name.
Deputy director of the Viet Nam Internet Centre Tran Minh Tan told An Ninh Thu Do (Capital Security) Newspaper that State management agencies at all levels were allowed to use the domain name "gov.vn".
It was impossible to request the information or content of a website when granting a domain name, he explained.
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