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US Internet Piracy Bills Find Little Support in Cambodia

An online campaign this week to stop two Congressional bills aimed at regulating the Internet found broad support in Cambodia, where Web users are a small but growing group.

Internet juggernauts Facebook, Google and Wikipedia campaigned in one form or another on Wednesday, urging their users to oppose the Senate’s Stop Online Piracy Act and the House of Representative’s Protect IP Act.

Both bills are ostensibly to prevent online piracy, but opponents fear they could have far-reaching implications for basic freedoms and stymie the progress of the Internet.

Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said the bills could impact global use of the Internet, and so “is a problem for Cambodia.”

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, said such online restrictions are not necessary when there are already copyright laws on the books.

And government spokesman Phay Siphan said the bills could create “gaps” in knowledge between rich and poor countries by limiting access to information.