Monday, 28 February 2011 20:10 Thomas Miller
Access to several anti-government websites, which had been blocked in recent weeks, has been inexplicably restored for users of two internet service providers, while at least two other ISPs continue blocking the sites, customers reported to The Post today.
Internet users said they were able to access KI-Media through ISPs WiCam and Ezecom, but not through Online or Metfone.
The Post has confirmed that MekongNet has not blocked access, contrary to local media reports.
People using the internet through Metfone could not access the entire blogspot.com domain name, leaving them unable to view not only KI-Media and other anti-government sites, but also any blog maintained on the Google-provided service, such as those by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, local businesses or job-search sites.
Paul Blanche-Horgan, CEO of Ezecom, had previously said the blockage was a technical issue, but declined to comment.
“I have no idea, mate,” he said.
“I mean, you know, it’s ridiculous. I have no comment. Bye-bye.”
A customer service representative for WiCam said he did not know about the issue.
Kim Saroeun, operations manager at Online, said the issue was still a “technical problem” that they were trying to fix, two weeks after the sites’ blockage came to public attention.
“We have been investigating this technical problem and believe we will be able to solve the blocking of sites within the next couple of days,” Kim Saroeun said by email.
The Post revealed that Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun personally requested, as stated in official minutes from a February 10 meeting, that ISPs “cooperate” in blocking access to several unnamed sites, which were later specified in an email sent to 10 ISPs by Sieng Sithy, deputy director of the Directorate of Telecommunications Policy Regulation at MPTC.
The eight targeted sites include several prominent anti-government blogs maintained by KI-Media, Khmerization and the political cartoonist known as Sacrava.
Several human rights groups have condemned the blockage of the sites, while activists have started an online petition.
The government has denied that it has any such policy.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, who has said MPTC should clarify the issue, could not be reached for comment today.
He said previously he was “surprised that several ISPs accepted the email as an official letter”.
So Khun refused to speak to The Post.