Jul 5th, 2012 by Jinja
Hello folks, here is a DRAFT translation of a legal circular approved by two ministries (Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications) that is now being implemented as ‘default’ for official use of the internet. While it has been signed by two ministers, it has not been submitted to the National Assembly – nor has it been challenged by any department of the Cambodian Government or external legal body. (Most notably absent, the Ministry of Information, which has in the past weighed in on internet issues).
So far I have seen no report of anyone being fined or arrested for refusing to comply. This circular sets a precedent for regulating the use of the internet which may be followed up by an actual law enacted by the National Assembly.
The future of Cambodian internet law has been the subject of much speculation. Hopefully this very rough translation can enable folks to make up their own minds about what policies may be governing our use of the internet. I am not a legal wonk, and welcome (polite) opinions. News coverage:
Ministry of Interior – Ministry of Post and Telecommunications
No: 001 SR-MPh-BT
[From] Inter-Ministerial Circular on
Management of Telecommunications Service Use and Corporation
Technologies in telecommunications have been comprehensively used throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia to serve economic, social and diplomatic activities, aimed at enhancing people’s knowledge and livelihood, and better protecting national security, safety and public order. These factors have promoted uses of telephones-faxes and Internet to a remarkable level.
Past experiences of offense investigation and suppression have shown that, criminals and offenders always used telecommunications services such as mobile phones, fixed phones, VoIP and Internets as a means to commit terrorisms, trans-boundary crimes, robberies, kidnapping, murders, drug trafficking, human trafficking, economic offenses, illegal installment of and illegal corporation of all forms of telecommunications service, broadcasting of obscene pictures and debauchery, which affect national customs, traditions and social good moral values.
Based on the above-mentioned reasons, in order to better promote protection of national security, safety and social order for the country to be regarded as State of Laws, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications have decided to advise all telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors, as well as subscribers to telecommunications services, as follows:
1) Applications to be filled in
All telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors have to most fully and strictly comply with requiring all subscribers of telecommunications services to fill in applications as follows:
a. Khmer Nationals
i. All citizens have to use a valid Khmer National Identity Card
ii. All government officials have to use an identity card issued by the concerned Ministry, Institution, or Unit.
iii. Monks have to use a monk’s identity card.
iv. Minors are required to have a parent or guardian as the person to make the subscription for them.
Any document besides the above-mentioned documents is not of legal value for subscribing to telecommunications services.
A foreigner who is a physical person, either male or female, and intends
to subscribe to telecommunications service, has to use his/her passport affixed with valid visa.
c. Embassies, Organizations, Associations, Units, Companies
Any embassy, organization, association, unit or company which plans
to subscribe to telecommunications service for communal use has to fill in official applications and defines clear responsibilities of users.
Anyone to use any document, as defined in 1.a, 1.b and 1.c, to
purchase a telephone number or subscribe to telecommunications services shall have the required sufficient personal documents for filling in applications as defined by this Inter-Ministerial Circular. Use of documents of any other person is strictly prohibited.
2) The competent, police, competent of Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and operators of telecommunications have to collaborate in reviewing any application which is obsolete, incorrect or unclear such as: lack of National Identity Cards or use of forfeited National Identity Cards, forfeited identity cards or forfeited monk’s identity cards; and notify any person who is using a telephone number or has already the connected network to correctly fill in personal applications as defined in Point 1 of this Inter-Ministerial Circular in a month’s time. In case it is overdue, operations shall be temporarily suspended.
3) All telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors are obliged to register their business at local authorities. Meanwhile, all locations serving telephone services and Internet shall be equipped with closed circuit television camera and shall store footage data of users for at least 03 months.
Telephone service corporation owners along public roads shall record National Identity Cards of any subscriber.
4) All telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors are obliged to take responsibilities of controlling copied National Identity Cards, identity cards or monk’s identity cards of any subscriber and ensure used data recording techniques for 06 days.
5) All telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors are obliged to provide necessary documents including users’ Identity Cards and used data as requested by the competent authorities for purposes of investigation of any offense which is involved in issues of national security, safety and social order.
All telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors who are involved shall provide sufficient documents, the competent authroities have requested, at the earliest time; despite days-off, national and international holidays, there shall be any staff permanently on duty to fulfill the obligation.
6) The Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications will task officials to permanently work with all telecommunications operators; in the meantime, shall task officials to collaborate with all sales outlets and distributors who are involved in order to conduct timely investigation of data documents.
7) Only officials who are tasked by Head of Government, Minister of Interior, or Minister of Post and Telecommunications and General Commissariat of National Police are entitled to request all telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors who are involved to provide documents of telecommunications service subscribers. Besides, despite being any competent forces or telecommunications operators, sales outlets, distributors, they are not entitled to check or reveal documents of telecommunications service subscribers.
The competent authorities or any telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors who act contradictorily to the above rules shall be punished with fines or charges.
8 ) Any telecommunications service subscriber shall care to comply as follows:
a. Any telecommunications service subscriber who moves or loses telephone number shall inform telecommunications operators or sales outlets and distributors at the earliest time.
b. Anyone who is using all kinds of telecommunications services and willing to transfer these to another person shall make a transfer letter while the one accepting telecommunications services shall take the transfer letter attached with personal documents (as defined in Point 1 above) to fill in new applications and provide them to telecommunications operators or sales outlets and distributors.
9) Separately, any radio communication wave system corporation shall require permission from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.
For the competent forces’ frequency, as set for public work use, the concerned institution is the decision maker on usage and it can not be allowed for corporation.
Any user of the illegal radio communication wave system shall be responsible before the law.
10) The Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications request all telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors as well as telecommunications service subscribers to collaborate in effectively implementing the Inter-Ministerial Circular’s spirit in order to contribute to protection of social security, safety and order.
If any telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors do not collaborate in implementing this Inter-Ministerial Circular, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications will take measures of withdrawing the corporation licenses.
In case any telecommunications operators, sales outlets and distributors do not collaborate in implementing this Inter-Ministerial Circular, thus becoming a cause of offense, the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications will collaborate in collecting information and sending the case to court for legal action.
General Commissariat of National Police of Ministry of Interior and General Department of Post and Telecommunications of Ministry of Post and Telecommunications shall collaborate in effectively implementing this circular after the date of signature.
The Inter-Ministerial Circular on Management of All Kinds of Telecommunications Technologies, No. 001 SR-MPh-BT, dated July 08, 2009 is annulled.
Phnom Penh, February 28, 2012
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Interior
(Signature and Seal)
Minister of Post and Telecommunications
(Signature and Seal)
-Council of Ministers
-Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
-Cabinet of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Prime Minister
-Governors of Phnom Penh capital – provinces “for information and implementation collaboration”
-General Commissariat of National Police of Ministry of Interior
-General Department of Telecommunications of Ministry of Post and Telecommunications
-All telecommunications operators “for implementation”
Postscript July 24: New from Al-Jazeera: video feature on government plans for an eventual cyber law, complete with tour of ‘quick reaction unit’ and critique by Norbert Klein.
(Thanks to @EviTravels for clarification on ‘circular’ vs ‘law’. Everyone wants to get their hands on the draft law. No one seems to be circulating it.)