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31 Aug 2021

Asia Centre

Cambodia: Asia Centre release internet freedoms report on Cambodia's restrictive measures to curtail human rights and fundamental freedoms

"Internet Freedoms in Cambodia: A Gateway to Control", 31 August 2021

Cambodia’s plan for a “National Internet Gateway” (NIG)…, is the apex of internet censorship legislation. It is a “firewall” that observes internet traffic nationwide. The NIG would provide the government with the ability to effectively monitor and control all domestic information and communications in the nation through a single choke-point. Over the recent years, Cambodia has developed an arsenal of censorship legislation aimed at the internet in parallel with it’s growing telecommunications infrastructure, increasing internet penetration and rising social media usage. The result, is a highly surveilled digital landscape near void of dissenting voices, with those activists that remain, often subject to harassment and other malicious activities such as electricity cut-offs and bandwidth throttling. Fundamental democratic mechanisms are significantly hampered through “internet blackouts”, where the government blocks certain independent news outlets prior to and during election periods. These legislative measures, combined with harassment, have led to endemic self-censorship throughout Cambodia’s digital landscape.