The Ministry of Justice plans to review Article 292 of the 2015 Penal Code, with reference to other relevant ministries and agencies, to avoid creating barriers to the development of startup enterprises.
Deputy Minister of Justice Trần Tiến Dũng, the ministry’s speaker, confirmed this early this week in response to the business community’s petition to scrutinise the regulation.
Dũng said the regulation had been proposed to prevent criminals from using the Internet or telecommunications networks, as well as to protect legal business activities.
Under Article 292, online service providers will be deemed criminals if they do not have permission to conduct business online or if they do not conduct business according to the specifics of their business registration. Services governed by Article 292 include gold trading, e-commerce, multilevel marketing, payment intermediaries, online games, and other services using computer or telecommunications networks.
The regulation raises concerns among the startup community. Most startup firms develop new ideas and services based on information technology. They worry that the words “other services” are not well defined by the regulation, which may lead firms to accidentally commit crimes.
The ministry will now meet with relevant ministries, agencies, IT experts, representatives of the startup community, and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss amendments to the regulation before submitting it for approval.