Cambodia Bans 3G Phones

Michael Hayes
PHNOM PEHN — Citing concerns about the proliferation of mobile pornography, Cambodia has banned third-generation (3G) mobile phones.

What began as a comment from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife, who worried that the 3G phones would further spread mobile porn, quickly became national policy when Sen directed the minister of telecommunications to scrap the phones for the time being.

"I have written to the minister of telecommunications to delay the use of certain mobile phones," Sen said. "We can wait 10 more years until we have managed to improve morality in society."

Sen made his announcement before a gathering of Buddhist monks in the nation’s capital who have expressed concern that mobile porn — both pictures and videos — will only exacerbate the country’s problem with sexual violence and abuse.

According to Sen, when the war-torn country becomes “moral enough,” the phone network will once again be made operational.

In the meantime, Sen, a one-eyed former Khmer Rouge soldier, has opted to listen to his wife and other countrymen who have circulated and signed a petition decrying the spread of pornography.

At present, Cambodia has a 3G mobile phone network, which opened earlier in the year. However, use of the phones is quite limited because few Cambodians can afford the new phones.