Vietnamese users were surprised when they were redirected to Netflix.com when they tried to access phimmoi.net, a website that provides pirated movies.
When typing or copying the URL of phimmoi.net on Facebook, the social network’s function of previewing content also gave images of Netflix.
It’s unclear why the users of phimmoi, an unlicensed website, were redirected to a provider of copyrighted films. Phimmoi was listed among the top 20 websites with the highest number of visits in Vietnam, about 60-100 million a month. Netflix only provides copyrighted products, to 150,000 users in the country.
In late August, the investigation agency of the HCM City Police filed charges in a criminal case over copyright infringement related to phimmoi.net.
Investigators found that since 2014, one man in Lam Dong province has been operating a website showing movies for free on the internet. He hired two individuals with high IT qualifications in Dong Nai province to develop, administer and operate the website.
The team copied, exploited, used, broadcasted and disseminated movie products to the public without the consent of copyright holders. Phimmoi was also engaged in illegally advertising products and services on copyrighted films in order to gain illicit profits, which were large amounts of money.
This is the first criminal prosecution case against a website providing pirated movies in Vietnam. After phimmoi.net was blocked, the owner of the website continued providing services with other domain names, such as Phimmoiz.net, Phimmoizz.net, iphimmoi.net or ephimmoi.net most recently, maintaining illegal activities.
The information about redirection to Netflix.com caused a rumor hat Netflix had bought the phimmoi.net domain name.
However, a spokesman for Netflix, contacted by VietNamNet, denied this. “No business of Netflix has bought the phimmoi.net’s domain name,” the spokesman said.
On November 30, it was impossible to access phimmoi.net, even with a VPN. However, when typing the URL of phimmoi.net on Facebook, one still could see the information about Netflix’s website on previewed links.
In related news, in mid-November, Netflix announced the launch of free Netflix package reserved for Vietnamese users. Vietnam is the first market in Asia and one of a few markets in the world where Netflix is offering a free package.
This service package is specifically offered to Android users. Users need to be over 18 years old and have never had Netflix accounts to be eligible. They just need to register via phone or email.
Stories about digital transformation shared on portal
The T63 information portal – the digital stories of 63 cities and provinces – has been launched by MIC at T63.mic.gov.vn. This is the place for localities to share their experiences during the digital transformation process.
At the conference
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently organized an online conference to share and disseminate experiences on digital transformation, connecting with 63 local departments of information and communications.
The leaders of Thai Nguyen, HCM City, Thua Thien – Hue, Bac Giang, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Lang Son, Thai Binh, Binh Duong and Da Nang talked about digital transformation in their localities in accordance with three topics – digital government, digital economy and digital society.
The stories are about the application of Party Member Handbook platform; provincial digital transformation model in LangSon; the deployment of information system that serves safe, flexible adaptation and effective control of the pandemic in HCM City; AI switchboard solution to advise and support F0s at home; and QR Code travel permit application in Da Nang.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Huy Dung said digital transformation is a story of 63 cities/provinces, more than 700 districts and over 11,000 communes.
With the viewpoint ‘success comes from sharing’, MIC built an information portal for 63 cities/provinces to share their stories at T63.mic.gov.vn.
Each article must not contain more than 1,000 words and each clip must not be longer than 12 minutes.
“In the last few years, we have heard success stories in other countries. And now, I hope that every locality can tell success stories of its own,” Dung said.
He went on to say that he expects to listen to stories about topics which were still not related at the conference, such as digital transformation at people’s councils at different levels; digital skill training; the tools and platforms that help localities go digitized; and the use of data to make important decisions.
MIC has asked the International Cooperation Department and Authority of Information Technology Application to upgrade the website to make it more convenient to use so that users just make one click to share their stories on many social network platforms. This will also be a repository of original stories for central and local media agencies to build reports and infographics to contribute to the sharing of information.
At the conference, the Authority of IT Application introduced training courses on digital information to be provided to 10,000 officers at state agencies and media agencies. The training is expected to begin in March 2022. Four major issues would be mentioned in the training, including 1/ heightening awareness about digital transformation 2 /digital government 3/ digital economy and 4/ digital society.
Endangered turtles returned to wild
CHÀM ISLANDS — The Chàm Island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board and Quảng Nam provincial rangers have released an endangered turtle to the local forest, three days after it was captured by a local farmer and handed to the MPA.
Huỳnh Thùy Hương, an MPA communication employee, told Việt Nam News that the Chinese strip-neck turtle (Mauremys sinensis) was found by Trương Công Tánh at a paddy field in Điện Bàn Town in Quảng Nam Province on January 14, who gave the turtle to the MPA.
The 1.5kg, 24cm shell turtle, which is listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a critically endangered species, was returned to the wild on January 20.
According to MPA, seven tortoises and sea turtles, handed in by locals, have been released in the Chàm Islands in 2021.
The Chàm Islands-Hội An (including the total area of the Islands’ land and water and Hội An) was recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2009. It is home to a large population of sea turtles and tortoises.
The MPA also reported that nearly 1,000 baby turtles had been released into the ocean in 2017-19 since the ex-situ hatching (moving turtle eggs to another place for hatching) conservation project was launched in 2017.
The Chàm Islands is the only successful site for the ex-situ turtle eggs hatching project in central Việt Nam. —
Ice, snow reported on Mount Fansipan
LÀO CAI — Ice and snow have been spotted on Mount Fansipan, the highest mountain in Việt Nam, as a result of widespread rain and freezing temperatures early Friday.
Light rain and snow occurred for about 10 minutes at 6:30am, resulting in a thin layer of ice on the ground on Mount Fansipan and nearby areas, according to a worker at the Fansipan cable car station.
This is the first rain with snow on this mountain, located in Lào Cai Province, since the start of the 2021 winter.
It is a rare phenomenon in tropical Việt Nam and only recorded in high mountain areas in the northern region in winter.
Travel businesses expect the weather will help attract more visitors to Sa Pa national tourism area during the coming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. —
Stories about digital transformation shared on portal
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