Cambodia plans China-style Internet firewall

In what comes as bad news for Cambodians and the substantial number of foreign digital nomads in the country, Cambodia’s government is planning a China-style Internet firewall aimed at better “managing” Internet connections, according to a report by Nikkei Asian Review.

The report said that a sub-decree drafted for a “national Internet gateway” has been set up in July, but has yet to be signed. The document states the Internet gateway would “manage” Internet connections nationwide “to enhance national revenue collection, protect national security and assure social order.”

The gateway would be managed by a government-appointed operator, which would report to Cambodia’s ministry of post and telecommunications, the country’ telecommunication regulator and other “relevant authorities.”

The operator would be tasked with “taking actions in blocking and disconnecting all network connections that affect safety, national revenue, social order, dignity, culture, traditions and customs,” the report referred to a translation of the draft law.

Mandatory storing of content and metadata for a year

Under the plans, the gateway operator would be required to store all connection and traffic metadata for twelve months and submit regular reports to authorities. Commercial Internet service providers would also be given twelve months to reroute their networks through the gateway after the sub-decree is signed.

The report cited media experts as saying that the “vague language” in the decree would leave room for “many interpretations” that could impact freedom of expression, particularly on much-used Facebook channels. Others called the plans “alarming” as it would allow blocking free speech, denying access to online information and open the doors to Internet censorship.

The planned Internet gateway appears similar to a 2015 proposal by the military junta in Thailand which, however,  was scrapped after a public backlash.

Cambodia has seen a rapid increase in web usage in recent years, with Internet subscriptions rising from five million in 2014 to 16 million last year, according to government statistics.



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In what comes as bad news for Cambodians and the substantial number of foreign digital nomads in the country, Cambodia's government is planning a China-style Internet firewall aimed at better “managing” Internet connections, according to a report by Nikkei Asian Review. The report said that a sub-decree drafted for a "national Internet gateway" has been set up in July, but has yet to be signed. The document states the Internet gateway would “manage” Internet connections nationwide “to enhance national revenue collection, protect national security and assure social order.” The gateway would be managed by a government-appointed operator, which would report...

In what comes as bad news for Cambodians and the substantial number of foreign digital nomads in the country, Cambodia’s government is planning a China-style Internet firewall aimed at better “managing” Internet connections, according to a report by Nikkei Asian Review.

The report said that a sub-decree drafted for a “national Internet gateway” has been set up in July, but has yet to be signed. The document states the Internet gateway would “manage” Internet connections nationwide “to enhance national revenue collection, protect national security and assure social order.”

The gateway would be managed by a government-appointed operator, which would report to Cambodia’s ministry of post and telecommunications, the country’ telecommunication regulator and other “relevant authorities.”

The operator would be tasked with “taking actions in blocking and disconnecting all network connections that affect safety, national revenue, social order, dignity, culture, traditions and customs,” the report referred to a translation of the draft law.

Mandatory storing of content and metadata for a year

Under the plans, the gateway operator would be required to store all connection and traffic metadata for twelve months and submit regular reports to authorities. Commercial Internet service providers would also be given twelve months to reroute their networks through the gateway after the sub-decree is signed.

The report cited media experts as saying that the “vague language” in the decree would leave room for “many interpretations” that could impact freedom of expression, particularly on much-used Facebook channels. Others called the plans “alarming” as it would allow blocking free speech, denying access to online information and open the doors to Internet censorship.

The planned Internet gateway appears similar to a 2015 proposal by the military junta in Thailand which, however,  was scrapped after a public backlash.

Cambodia has seen a rapid increase in web usage in recent years, with Internet subscriptions rising from five million in 2014 to 16 million last year, according to government statistics.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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