Cambodia’s government has reportedly pushed back the implementation of its planned National Internet Gateway (NIG), which was due to launch today.
Speaking to Nikkei Asia, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) spokesman So Visothy said that the gateway’s launch had been delayed “due to the disruption caused by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The NIG is a controversial move by the Cambodian authorities that will see all domestic and international internet traffic routed through a single state-controlled point. The government argues that the NIG will facilitate national revenue collection as well as strengthen national security, but critics argue that it will in practice allow the government to silence dissent and political opposition by affording it greater powers of surveillance and censorship.
CommsUpdate cited the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) as claiming that the NIG represented a threat to freedom of expression and user privacy in Cambodia, arguing that it could also be used to block citizens’ rights to internet access.