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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 19:01 GMT 20:01 UK
Porn fear sparks Cambodia 3G ban
Cambodia PM Hun Sen
Hun Sen described 3G technology as "way too advanced for us"
Cambodia's prime minister has banned the use of videos on mobile phones over fears they might spread pornography - after a plea from his wife.

Camera and video phones are growing in popularity in Cambodia, with a first 3G network planning to begin trading soon.

But PM Hun Sen moved to outlaw the new phones after his wife, Bun Rany, said they could have "negative consequences for social morality".

Hun Sen said Cambodia should wait 10 years before allowing video phones.

In a petition submitted to her husband on 19 May, Bun Rany said the new phones could increase "sexual exploitation of women and children and other vices that would cast our society as a very dark one."

'Strengthen morality'

The prime minister used a speech at a Buddhist pagoda in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, to announce his decision.

"Hold it," he told his audience.

Maybe we can wait for another 10 years or so until we have done enough to strengthen the morality of our society
Hun Sen
Cambodian Prime Minister
"Do not yet start the mobile phone services through which the callers can see each others' images.

"Maybe we can wait for another 10 years or so until we have done enough to strengthen the morality of our society."

Newer mobile phone handsets generally include built-in cameras with video recording capabilities.

3G networks offer high-speed data transfer, allowing users to send images and video footage more quickly than on traditional mobile networks.

Cambodia has battled for years against the sex trade and under-age prostitution, and struggled to shake off a reputation as a popular destination for "sex tourism".

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07 Feb 06 |  Country profiles

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