Cambodia’s Internet gateway raises fears of China-style surveillance


People using their smartphones in a park in Phnom Penh. Cambodia is powering up its new national Internet gateway, a move activists say will allow the government to further silence the country’s embattled opposition voices. — AFP

Sovann Chhay was 16 when he was arrested in Cambodia’s capital last year for writing comments on the Telegram messaging app that were deemed insulting to government officials. The autistic teenager was jailed for nearly six months.

He was among at least 35 people arrested over their online activity in Cambodia last year, according to the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), which expects the numbers to surge after the launch of a new China-style Internet gateway.

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