The Second Cambodia ICT and Digital Forum
Open Development Cambodia (ODC), on 16 November 2022, organized the 2nd Cambodia ICT and Digital Forum (CamIDF) in Phnom Penh with 46 participants from CamIDF members, Cambodia ICT Camp alums, government officials, CSOs, indigenous people community, LGBT+ community, journalists, and university students, and relevant stakeholders. The second CamIDF aimed to:
• Promote the discussion among members, individuals and institutions regarding the ICT and Digital Landscapes, including the newly adapted and drafted regulation on the digital atmosphere in Cambodia.
• Promote digital security and protection discussion among experts, Indigenous parents and children, CamIDF members, and other relevant stakeholders.
The one-day event kicked off with a welcoming remark from Mr. THY Try, Executive Director/Editor-in-Chief of Open Development Cambodia (ODC). He highlighted that the Forum aims to keep the ongoing discussion for the Cambodia ICT Camp alums and create a new community for the individual or other stakeholders interested in digital and ICT debate to become a member of the Forum. Following the remark from Mr. THY, Ms. Pyrou CHUNG, Director of the Open Development Initiative and member of the CamIDF Advisory Committee, shared her opening remark with the participants. At the event, Ms. CHUNG said she was delighted to see the diverse participation from the audience, including youth, indigenous people, and women. Pyrou encouraged the young participants to keep themselves updated with the current digital and ICT trends, indicating that it will benefit them in the future. Mr. NGOV Chihor, Cambodia ICT Camp Manager at ODC, then shared a quick result from the Cambodia ICT Camp 2022 event hosted in June in Siem Reap province.
Experience sharing by CamIDF members.
The following program was an exciting sharing session from Ms. ROMCHOM Munny and Mr. ROMAM Blend, Cambodia ICT Camp 2022 alums and CamIDF members selected to participate in the 5th edition of the Paris Peace Forum in France from 12 to 13 November 2022. Munny said, “As a member of the Cambodia ICT and Digital Forum (CamIDF), I had an opportunity to apply for the Paris Peace Forum (PPF) program for the first time.” As indigenous people (IP) from the Jarai community, Munny believed the program would greatly benefit and improve her access to data, information, and self-governance. On the other hand, Blend was delighted with the new experience and knowledge he gained from the program. He said, “I have participated in many sessions on data, digital, and global issues, which is connected to my undergraduate major. It piqued my curiosity.”
Overview of Digital Government
In the afternoon session, Poren CHIANG, a digital law researcher from Taiwan and a member of the CamIDF Advisory Committee, presented a keynote about the Digital Government Landscape in Taiwan to the participants. The presentation highlights e-government, personal data protection regulation, open data and copyright, digital government, and data governance. Poren argued that digital government sounded impressive but took more work to implement.
Digital government and related legal and regulatory framework discussion
The rapid development of Cambodia’s Digital Economy Policy has impacted many sectors and individuals in Cambodia. Technological tools and digital transformation have seen many adaptations from the government to civil society and the private sector. However, the current amendment and implementation of the laws and regulations related to digital space in Cambodia have raised many questions about its implication and scope. In this session, the content and implementation of the law and other concerns were brought up with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, including the government, civil society organizations, digital rights groups, and other development partners concerning the limitation of digital space amidst the evolution of the digital revolution in Cambodia.
His Excellency KANG Chandararot, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication, presented the master plan of the Cambodia Digital Government Policy 2023-2035, bringing into the spotlight the timeline and progress of the policy implementation. H.E. Chandararot indicated the government’s commitment to transforming the country into a digital society, saying that digital transformation had to start from the government system, including public service delivery and data management.
As Cambodia moves toward a digital society, personal privacy and cyber security concerns arise. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) was responsible for drafting the law and cybercrime. His Excellency HUY Vannak, Secretary of State of the MoI, shared some content from the draft law on Cybercrime, which was private. H.E. Vannak confirmed that MoI would seek comments and inputs from civil society regarding the content of the law.
Mr. NGETH Moses, a digital security specialist, requested the government to provide the opportunity for civil society to give inputs to the draft laws on digital space and recommended that the government form a unit to fight against cybercrime and protect user data.
The second CamIDF concluded with a presentation from UNICEF Cambodia on Child Online Protection, a MyData4Children workshop led by Mr. Dixon SIU, and an Open Data Barometer presentation from Ms. Pyrou CHUNG.