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13 Nov 2020

Human Rights Watch

Cambodia: HRW call on govt. to drop draft Cybercrime Law which threatens increased surveillance of internet users, privacy rights & free speech online

"Cambodia: Scrap Draft Cybercrime Law", 13 November 2020

The Cambodian government should immediately scrap the draft cybercrime law, which threatens increased surveillance of internet users, privacy rights, and free speech online, Human Rights Watch said ... The United States, other concerned governments, and international technology and communications companies operating in Cambodia should call for the bill to be dropped.

Human Rights Watch obtained the third known draft, … The government has received private advice from the United States, but the government has not shared the draft with the public or consulted with civil society organizations or experts.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen has long bragged about listening in on phone calls and intercepting emails, and the proposed cybercrime law would give him further legal cover to do so,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The draft cybercrime law’s terms are incredibly broad and vague, and would give an already authoritarian government even more power to arbitrarily prosecute critics and political opponents,” Adams said…

The Cambodian government has already enacted several repressive laws that allow for increased governmental control over information and communications technologies. The 2015 Telecommunications Law permits undeclared monitoring by the authorities of any private speech via telecommunications without any procedural safeguards and judicial oversight…

…, the Cambodian government adopted the Inter-Ministerial Proclamation on Website and Social Media Control, which requires all internet service providers to install surveillance software to monitor content circulated on the internet…

…, the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry proposed a sub-decree on a National Internet Gateway, which seeks to route all internet traffic through a regulatory body monitoring online activity…