Ministries review content of draft law on cybercrime

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Legal experts held a meeting to review content of draft law on cybercrime on Wednesday. Facebook

The ministries of Interior and Justice and relevant officials are currently reviewing a draft law on cybercrime.

Legal experts held a meeting on Wednesday to review its contents at the Ministry of Interior, and chaired by two ministries’ secretaries of state Bun Hun and Lam Chea.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Chin Malin told The Post on Thursday: “We need to research the implementation of similar laws in other countries.

“The law is new in Cambodia and we need to study it further and learn from [other countries]. It has to be in line with the Cambodian context as the draft law is intertwined with other laws, and we want it to be consistent with them."

“We are currently drafting the Access to Information Law and [we need] it not to become contentious with the Press Law."

“Other developing countries have similar laws to stop online crimes such as robberies, fraud and kidnappings, as well as social media scams. We must have a law to stop such crimes,” said Malin.

The Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Cybercrime Department director Chea Pov said the draft law on cybercrime contained seven chapters and 48 articles, and that working groups are currently outlining its punishments.

Human rights group Adhoc spokesperson Soeung Sen Karuna expressed his concern over the draft law, saying it might be used by the government to restrict the freedoms of those with opinions unpopular with the government.

“We see that [in] the latest contexts, laws seem to have been made, in a sense, to restrict the freedom of citizens, other political parties, civil society organisations, et cetera."

“We are worried . . . the laws would be better if they allowed a wide range of opinions,” Sen Karuna stressed.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Battambang provincial police headquarters said fake news is the most pressing issue arising from modern-day information technology.

The post quoted provincial deputy police chief Im Kosal as saying that fake news in the Kingdom had attacked individuals, organisations and state institutions, causing social insecurity.

He said fake news has hindered national development and called on police forces as well as residents to do their part in combating it.

In January, Prime Minister Hun Sen called on officials and members of the press to wage a fight against fake news. He also said two laws are currently in the works to complement the existing 1995 Law on the Press.