Pornography Fear Sparks Cambodia 3G Ban

The fear of pornography spreading through video-capable mobile phone prompted the wives of government officials to petition the government to formally ban the new 3G technology.

The planned 3G network shows the potential that the growing popularity of mobile phones has in Cambodia. However, in an attempt to improve social morality, Cambodia's prime minister moved to outlaw the latest technology citing negative consequences of this technology. 3G networks offer high-speed data transfer, allowing users to send pictures and video footage more quickly than on traditional mobile networks.

A number of news articles in local newspapers and foreign mainstream media about 3G phone ban in Cambodia has been continuously dominating the headline of this Southeast Asian country. And discussion can also be found in Cambodian and regional blogosphere.

Weblogger Tam Hanna wrote that:

“This is definitely not funny for people in Cambodia, but we outstanders can have a good laugh nevertheless.”

Cambodia Blog pointed out an interesting piece from the news and a case of pornography dissemination last year in which an actress’ nude picture was spreading like computer virus in the country.

Surprisingly, the 3G video phone service is reportely facing unease among Cambodian leaders’ wives. Wives of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, and Prince Norodom Ranariddh; and six others signed a petition dated Friday that the third generation or 3G wireless services “will make a serious negative effect on morality and social welfare. The Cambodia Daily reports. Representative of AZ called the petition unresonable.

The petition refered to a case in 2005 when phone messgaes were used to disseminate pornography and actress’ naked picture.

And local weblogger Vutha posted some interesting quotes from newspaper column.

“Mr. Dya Rith living in Phnom Penh said that 3G is like a knife. A knife is harmless when it is used in the kitchen to cut vegetables. But a knife can be harmful when it is used to hurt or kill some one.”

Langkasuka opinionated simply that:

“The world, if not at least in South East Asia, is in the BANNING fever?
In Singapore, kids under 16 are banned from watching Da Vinci Code because the gahmen there think kids will believe the movie rather than their sunday class teacher. In Bolehland, independent movie “Lelakin Komunis Terakhir” (The Last Communist) is banned because of the title sensitif lah tu! Now Cambodia PM has joined the bandwagon.”


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