Decree on Internet Controls in Cambodia Threat to Freedom of Expression: Journalists

A decree establishing a national internet gateway that can control and monitor online activity in Cambodia is likely to seriously restrict freedom of expression in the country, journalists said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed an order to launch a National Internet Gateway—similar to China’s complex network of blocks, filters, and human censorship known as the Great Firewall—which will regulate all online traffic in the interest of “protecting national security and maintaining social order.”

The gateway will provide authorities with “measures to prevent and disconnect all network connections that affect national income, security, social order, morality, culture, traditions and customs,” the decree said.

Internet service providers will be given a year to connect to the gateway, or else face suspension of their operating licenses and the freezing of bank accounts, although no date was announced for its launch. Users will be required to provide their true identities, according to the decree.

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RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.