Cambodia has endured violent and tragic events throughout its history, but the beauty of the country and the resilience of its people have shone through. Unfortunately, freedom of expression is still heavily restricted. While online censorship is not as strict as in Thailand and other neighboring countries, this may be due to the fact that only 11% of the population in Cambodia have access to the internet. The country is classified by Freedom House as “Not Free” , given that the CPP (Cambodian People’s Party) dominates the political scenario and opposition leaders are constantly being attacked and imprisoned. As the press is under the government’s control and the internet is gaining popularity, critics of the president and his leadership, have turned to social media and personal blogs to express their discontent.
As a result, the government is now directing its attention to the internet, in an attempt to censor it and control the way in which its citizen’s use this technology. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has power over traditional media including radio, television and newspaper, and it has enacted laws that allow it to apply punishments to those who express views that go against the government. Since traditional media channels are dominated by the government, many activists, independent political commentators and dissidents have found shelter online. However, the increasing popularity of the internet as a channel for the opposition, has prompted the RGC to look for ways to to prevent its detractors from sharing their opinions with the world.
Using the need to tackle cyber attacks as an excuse, the RGC has drafted a new Law on Cybercrime. Currently, the draft of the law is being reviewed by the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Posts and telecommunication and it could be approved by the end of the year. While the government states that the law is a response to the malware attacks that have targeted computer systems around the world, many fear that the real aim of the legislation is to set the legal framework to allow the government to control the internet. The law could give the government the legal basis to punish the opposition with jail and fines.
VPNs for Cambodia
While users in Cambodia won’t have major issues accessing websites because internet is not heavily restricted, as we previously discussed, freedom of expression is under attack. If you want to share your opinions without exposing your identity, using Tor or a VPN is crucial. These tools will help you to enhance the privacy and anonymity of your online posts and communications. A VPN is a practical and faster solution that will enable you not only to secure your online traffic, but will also give you the possibility of bypassing geographical blocks to access international content. If you want to access Hulu or watch US Netflix, it is the best option.
At the moment, VPNs are not banned in Cambodia so you can use them to protect your connection and access media subject to geo-restrictions. The below services offer high encryption to keep your online traffic private and they have servers in Hong Kong, which is a great location for users in Cambodia, This is due to its physical proximity (which means that your connection won’t be too slow) and the fact that it offers unrestricted access to the internet.
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, which is known as one of the best locations for online freedom in the world. The high level of encryption, reasonable prices and ease of use that PureVPN offers, make it one of the best VPN services available. You can connect to servers in 141 countries, which gives you many chances to access the content you want and to disguise your IP address to protect your identity. PureVPN doesn’t keep logs of your online activities and you can connect up to five devices simultaneously.
ExpressVPN is a highly reliable solution that will allow you to defend your online privacy and access content without restrictions. Thanks to its strong encryption, you will be able to defeat censorship and keep your online posts and communications secure. ExpressVPN gives you a very fast service and the quality of the desktop software and mobile apps is very high. They have servers in 94 countries, including Hong Kong and Singapore. They don’t keep logs of your online activities.
VyprVPN offers high security for your internet traffic and a unique technology known as Chameleon. With this solution, you will be able to hide the fact that a VPN is in use, to avoid detection. Chameleon will allow you to bypass firewalls and Deep Packet Inspection, giving you the chance to defeat censorship effectively. VyprVPN doesn’t keep usage logs and they use a high level of encryption to secure your data. This provider has servers in over 70 global locations.