HCMC disagrees with ministry's online curfew

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The Ministry of Information and Communications should cut the supply of online games service rather than institute online curfews at Internet cafes, according to Ho Chi Minh City authorities.


The response came after the ministry ordered the suspension of internet service to all internet cafes nationwide from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. from this September 1. 


However, in a written reply to the ministry's demand, HCMC Department of Information and Communications said there is no legal basis for a government body to order the suspension of internet service to internet shops after their business hours.


According to the department, not all Internet shops have broken the law and there is, subsequently, no reason to punish their businesses.


Worse still, the shops will probably file lawsuits demanding compensation from Internet service providers for cutting service without good reason.


Under local law, shops that allow customers to use the Internet after posted business hours are supposed to be fined between VND1-2 million (US$52.36-104.73), the statement said.


The cutting of Internet services, meanwhile, will only help restrict online game playing by some 1 percent of Internet subscribers, because home Internet subscribers now exceed Internet shops, according to the department.


The city agency proposed that the ministry order online game providers to cut their services to Internet shops from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., arguing that the move would be more practical and effective.

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