By Sun Narin
Constraint on freedom of expression has become the concerns for Cambodian bloggers and self-censorship has to be inherently conducted by the bloggers, according to the meeting of some 30 bloggers.
This meeting allowed bloggers to share the experiences of blogging and the issues concern their blogging. The roundtable discussion covered some questions raised by the meeting:
1. Have you ever encountered any constraint on your blog?
2. What would you do if your blog will blocked like Ki Media?
3. Will it be the concern for your blogging as the situation in Vietnam and Thailand is bad. In Vietnam, bloggers cannot blog about politics and in Thailand, bloggers cannot write something related to king.
4. Will blockage of blogs affect the freedom of expression?
according to an article in The Cambodia Daily published on September 4, 2007, an estimated number of bloggers was around 250 and counting. According to the paper given by the CCHR, there are 329680 internet users in Cambodia as of June, 2011, which is a penetration of 2.2 based on Facebook usage. (www.internetworldstats.com/asia.htm#kh)
On 19 January, 2011, blogspot sites in Cambodia were blocked following an alleged order from the Ministry of Interior to all Cambodian Internet Service Providers. Users of EZECOM complained that they were unable to access a number of sites including Ki-Media although EZECOM later denied in writing it had received any directive from the Royal Government of Cambodia.
On 16 February, 2011, it was revealed in the Phnom Penh Post that an email leaked from a senior official at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication congratulated an ISPs including EZECOM for blocking access to a list of websites including blogspot sites, Ki-Media, Khmerrization and Sacrava.
Some other issues pertaining to blog have been discussed in the meeting among bloggers.
However, the bloggers said that they will be careful on the content of blogging, making sure that it will not affect the government. In addition, they agree that blockage of blogging will affect the freedom of expression.