Google Asia-Pacific’s Singapore Office wants to cooperate with the National Election Committee (NEC) to prevent the spread of misinformation or ‘fake news’ that may affect the July national elections, said an NEC press release.

In the release, NEC member and spokesman Hang Puthea stated that Google’s representative and NEC held an April 24 meeting to discuss cooperation on the upcoming election.

“The NEC has asked Google to assist with facilitating searches for polling stations on Google Maps, to prevent data theft, and to remove or ban social media content that the NEC determines could affect the election process,” he said.

According to Puthea, Yves Gonzalez, head of government affairs and public policy at Google Southeast Asia, said he wanted to maintain good cooperation with the NEC and has requested that a working group be formed to enhance communication between the NEC and the Google representatives who are based in Phnom Penh.

He said that Google has accepted all of the requests made by the NEC, and added that their services would be free of charge.

According to the NEC, as of April 25, six political parties have registered themselves and their candidates for the election – the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), Cambodian Youth Party, the Khmer National United Party, Dharmacracy Party, Democracy Power Party and the Cambodian Nationality Party.

Registration of political parties and their candidates lasts for 15 days, from April 24 to May 8.