The Telecommunications Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) has blocked the URL addresses of nine websites after determining that they contained pornographic images and videos of children.
The TRC said on December 13 that they will continue to cooperate with the Cambodia National Council for Children (CNCC) and other relevant authorities as well as all telecommunications operators to eliminate access to all websites that host pornographic images and videos of anyone under the age of 18 by blocking their URLs.
“Such acts encourage and induce prostitution and human trafficking and causes victims to suffer physically and emotionally as well as adversely affecting public order and national dignity,” the press release stated.
The websites include xvideos.com, dood.ws, quip.com, haraag.net, theporndude.com, 8kun.top, xnxx.com, xnxx2.pro and porn-images-xxx.com. Many of these sites allow users from all over the world to post whatever they like to them with little to no content moderation or control exercised over the millions of videos and images they host. This effectively shields the site owners from liability in many jurisdictions.
Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group Licadho, welcomed the decision, noting that some children had been affected by these websites. He said that blocking them would also help reduce child abuse.
“Blocking these websites today is a good thing and the authorities should take further measures to prevent child trafficking. These websites are not informative in any way and have no redeeming value. They exist only to profit from trafficking in pornography and they don’t care if it harms children or women or promotes sex trafficking.
“This is just the first step. The government must take more measures to suppress child sex trafficking and pornographic videos,” he added.
TRC also appealed to the public to call the hotline 6789 during working hours or via its Facebook page to report any websites posting images and videos of child pornography. The identities of the people who make the reports will be kept confidential, it noted.
James McCabe, executive director of the NGO Child Protection Unit, praised the shutdown of the websites, saying it was the right decision to prevent child pornography in Cambodia.
“This is a good start and gesture and I applaud the Cambodian government for shutting down those websites. They are big websites and they have a lot of pornography on them that is problematic for children,” he said.