“The national internet gateway adheres to the principles of
legality, necessity and proportionality,” stated the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Geneva in a press statement issued on Feb. 1.
The full press statement reads as follows:
"The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Geneva emphatically dismisses the radically one-sided, politicized, imaginary and misleading statement of three Special Rapporteurs, who are indeed not the UN staff, as to the nature of the National Internet Gateway (NIG).
The fact is that the creation of the NIG adheres to the principles of legality, necessity and proportionality, and contributes to the realization of Cambodia’s vibrant digitalization, a driving force to growth and development.
First, the NIG is not unprecedented across the world. This vital tool was passed for a legitimate goal – to facilitate and manage internet connections, to strengthen national security and tax collection, and to help maintain social order and protect national culture. It is in line with Article 19 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in which certain restrictions provided by law may apply if they are necessary “for respect of the rights or reputation of others, and for the protection of national security or of public order or of public health or morals.” The draft NIG sub-decree had been broadly consulted among telecom experts, operators and institutions concerned.
Second, the attainment of the Kingdom’s digitalization and development relies upon regulating and restraining businesses from engaging in unethical and unlawful practices. The NIG is a means to advance fair and honest competition and transparency, and to thwart illegal cross-border network connections, online gambling, pornography, child abuse and frauds, and other cyber threats.
Third, Cambodia government remains steadfast in protecting privacy and freedom of expression. No provision in the NIG sub-decree authorizes collection of consumers’ data or individual surveillance. Any handling of connection and technical operation is secure and encrypted in accordance with international standards. To safeguard people’s right to privacy, a Law on Personal Data Protection will be crafted and consulted with wide-ranging stakeholders.
To conclude, measures to be taken are necessary and proportionate towards the legitimate objective. In lieu of hurling unfounded allegations and interfering in domestic affairs of a sovereign state, the Special Rapporteurs are strongly urged to redirect their attentions to a worrying trend of human rights challenges, namely hate speech, slander, disinformation, incitement, including vaccines discrimination, and provocation to sedition under the guise of freedom of expression, in which the purported experts are always astonishingly silent for certain motives."
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press