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Some Worry About Widespread Porn in Digitized Cambodia

  • Suy Heimkhemra
  • VOA Khmer

Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), the Canadian-based maker of the BlackBerry, has pledged to fulfill Indonesia's demand to filter out pornographic content on its smart phones in the world's most populous Muslim country, Indonesian Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said Monday. Indonesia threatened to revoke BlackBerry's license to operate in the nation of 237 million unless it filtered out porn and set up a local server. (AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)

Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), the Canadian-based maker of the BlackBerry, has pledged to fulfill Indonesia's demand to filter out pornographic content on its smart phones in the world's most populous Muslim country, Indonesian Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said Monday. Indonesia threatened to revoke BlackBerry's license to operate in the nation of 237 million unless it filtered out porn and set up a local server. (AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)

A boy student said he and his friends watch pornography together, especially when class becomes boring.

PHNOM PENH - More and more young Cambodians are able to afford smart phones and Internet access, and data is cheap and fast, and while this leads to greater access to information, some experts worry it also means greater access to pornography.

“Pornographic pictures or videos are sent from phone to phone, through Bluetooth,” said Ngo Menghourng, a researcher who recently completed a small study on the pornography trend. “The phone is small and comfortable for them to hide and view porn.”

Ngo Menghourng asked 30 students about their online habits, and found that most spent about 15 to 20 minutes watching pornography, either alone and in groups. That included young women.

“Pornography is not good to watch, but I was really curious about it, so I decided to watch some,” a high school girl told VOA Khmer recently, requesting anonymity.

A boy student said he and his friends watch pornography together, especially when class becomes boring.

But pornography is also nothing new to Cambodia. DVDs have long been secretly available at the markets, and some coffee shops illegally show pornography to boost business. Some authorities worry that access to pornography has led to increased incidents of sexual assault, and have sought to stamp it out.

Somchan Sovandara, a psychologist at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said that viewing pornography can affect a student’s studies and overall mental health.

And Chhun Chomrong, head of the women’s section at the rights group Adhoc, said pornography is to blame for the increase in rapes in recent years.
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