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[February 21, 2011]
Vietnam to ban late-night game parlours
HA NOI, Feb 21, 2011 (Vietnam News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Viet Nam's information and communication ministry has asked Internet service providers to block access to online games each day from 10pm to 8am by March 3.
The request, made last week, is another move from the authority to mitigate the side effects of online games.
"Provincial departments of information and communication will inspect online games activities nationwide and deal with organisations that violate regulations by cancelling their services," said the ministry's deputy minister Le Nam Thang.
Internet management should be improved in a way that both meets the demand for information and ensures internet security while not affecting the lifestyle and customs of young people, said Thang.
The request follows numerous stiff measures by the ministry to tackle the issue, including cutting internet access to agents at night beginning last September.
Some online game service providers like VTC Intercom and Asiasoft said that the (internet access block) measure reduced entertainment access to adults who have paid a lot for internet access.
They also said it created difficulties for the maintenance of online games.
In addition to the temporary measure for online gaming and internet agency management, the ministry plans to revise the decree this year in order to make improvements in the near future.
Viet Nam currently has around 23 million internet users, accounting for 26 per cent of the total population, according to the ministry.
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