Cambodia puts off controversial internet gateway

The proposed law was criticized for its potential to suppress free speech and political opposition.

The Cambodian government has postponed the Feb. 16 launch of its national internet gateway (NIG) after human rights and free speech advocates dubbed it another draconian rule to ensure censorship through increased surveillance.

Meas Po, a spokesman for the Telecommunications Ministry, said the gateway was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and potential disruptions to internet traffic but sources in the know said the government was struggling with the technology required to make the NIG operational.

“Because it is an activity whenever we implement it, we have to prepare to install and order equipment in order to prepare and create the gateway. And we have to give licenses to any company that the government understands that has the ability to create the gateway,” Meas Po told Voice of Democracy.

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