Has Law in Cambodia Gone Insane?

Cambodia to close every internet cafes that are located within 500 meters from school. Any kind of game will not be allowed in any internet cafe.

This is the new circular signed by Minister of Post and Telecommunications, dated 12 November 2012 (Source).

I totally support the ideas behind this circular. But I think to restrict games and pornography from those internet cafes, it is not necessary to close the internet cafes.

Moreover if we apply this rule, almost every internet cafe in Phnom Penh center would be closed.

Map produced by LICADHO showing 500-meter buffer zones from education institutions (black squares)
Map produced by LICADHO showing 500-meter buffer zones from education institutions (black squares)

At the beginning I supported the ideas. I know a lot of teenagers in Cambodia are missing from school for games and other activities.

Closing internet cafes would be the first reflection. But then there are consequences that we need to think of. How about those good student who need the computer to access to internet to find the information they need for study.

Does every school provide working station for them yet?

I am not sure if student has access to internet at school. I believe in private school, they might have. But how about the public school, where there are a lot of poor good students?

How can they access to internet?

I believe we can continue allowing internet cafes to be opened but put a proper restriction to the owners:

  • No game installed on workstations
  • Need to implement content filter systems at their server. This will make sure there’s no access to pornography or game online etc.

I replied positively too quickly for this but when I saw the map from Vichet blog, I saw there are too many shops effected.

I think we can prevent the situation in a better way.

What do you think about this circular? Are you comfortable with your own laptop at home? When did the last time you enter into a internet cafe in town?

Hope to hear from you!

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  1. says

    This would be a tragedy. Banning students from internet cafes during school hours”might” be a good idea. Perhaps giving the mothers of children who can’t afford to send their children to school the opportunity to volunteer to become assistant teachers.

  2. says

    I learned this morning that some people are working behind the scene to make the map more accurate (sadly, it would be more shops to be closed) and a public announcement would be followed.

  3. kt says

    It is just a pretext of the government to stop people from accessing true and accurate news and information about what goes on in Cambodia.


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