Home > Local News > Blockage of blog denied

Blockage of blog denied

The government has denied that it has ordered local internet service
providers to block a domain hosting controversial antigovernment news
blog KI-Media, amid reports customers of the Ezecom ISP were unable to
access the site today.
A customer service representative for Ezecom, contacted by The Post
today, confirmed that his manager told him to block access to the
website, saying the government had informed them to shut it down.
Naly
Pilorge, director of the rights group Licadho, said her staff could not
access any sites on KI-Media’s blogspot.com domain through Ezecom as of
this morning, and she had received similar complaints from about 15
others Ezecom customers as early as Tuesday.
She said a customer
service representative had also informed her that an unidentified
government ministry asked the firm to block the site on Tuesday, due
the highly critical commentary posted on the website.
There have been no reports of other ISPs blocking the domain.
Ezecom
CEO Paul Blanche-Horgan said he was unaware that any actions had been
taken today to shut off access to the website, forwarding questions to
the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
Government officials contacted today also denied any action to block KI-Media.
“The
ministry of posts and telecommunications did not attempt to shut them
[KI media] 
down,” Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun told
reporters today.
He said, however, that the government had to
“make sure that what is on the website is true” and ensure it doesn’t
post any lewd images.
When contacted today, Interior Ministry
spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he did not know whether the government had
ordered Ezecom to block the blogspot.com domain, but added that
KI-Media deserved to be shut down.
“I don’t know, but it should be closed,” he said, due to its strong criticisms of the government.
Government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith could not be reached for comment today.
Naly
Pilorge from Licadho said that if the reports that the government had
blocked the site were true, it would mark a significant narrowing of
the space for public debate.
“This is a critical moment towards censorship and more repression,” she said.
“Free access to information is vital to any functioning democracy.”
KI-Media
last made headlines in December, when Seng Kunnaka, a security guard
employed by the United Nations World Food Programme, was charged with
incitement and jailed for six months after he showed colleagues an
article printed from the website.
Following Seng Kunnaka’s conviction, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told The Post
that the article had referred to Prime Minister Hun Sen and Var
Kimhong, the senior minister in charge of border affairs, as
“traitors”. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAMOEURN SAMBATH
Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News
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