Cambodia implements internet gateway

The government of Cambodia has established a national internet gateway, giving authorities ‘measures to prevent and disconnect all network connections that affect national income, security, social order, morality, culture, traditions, and customs’. This enables control and monitoring of online traffic in a manner similar to China’s Great Firewall. According to The Diplomat, this ‘would give the CPP [Cambodian People’s Party] government a new tool for quashing critical online commentary’. It would also allow the Cambodian government ‘to “turn off” internet access, in the event of large-scale protests or other social disturbances’.

Human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have since decried the move as ‘a disaster for human rights’. The gateway requires service providers to collect complete user information and legal identities. ‘Failure to connect networks to the gateway would result in operating licenses being suspended and bank accounts frozen.’

A government spokesman said the decree was necessary because there was no order to the internet in Cambodia, adding it was less intrusive than regulations in the United States and Britain.