POLICE CITE FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
Police forces in several districts across Phnom Penh are reporting problems sending and receiving
messages using their walkie-talkies, with noise and irritating sounds, such as dogs barking,
appearing on channels used for normal communication.
Phnom PenhMin Sovanna, director of the radio communications department at the Ministry of
Interior, said investigators are looking into the matter. He said that the current technology is out of
date and may not be sufficiently secure.
About 20 years ago we installed the system for $2 million and it still is in use now. The old system
now cannot be secure, but we lack money to upgrade to the digital system.
He believes that someone is using the same frequency numbers for the walkie-talkies and is tuning
into them, though they may not be doing it with the express purpose of scrambling police
Installing a better version could cost millions of dollars, he added, with each new walkie-talkie
costing about $1,000 to $2,000.
Reang Putheara, a police official in Chamkarmon district's Boeung Keng Kang III, said the
harassment really disturbs police workÂÂ. He has heard dogs barking on normal frequencies.
ÂThis group, if they are arrested, we cannot forgive them.
Lieutenant General Kirt Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police, confirmed the problem, and
said that while police have been unable to find the source of the attack, they are investigating.
ÂÂSooner or later we will find them. They make harassment especially when we have big
events.ÂÂ he said. Now police forces use the walkie-talkie by changing its code number to avoid
If, in fact, police communications are being intentionally disrupted, it comes during an upswing in
attacks on government communications.
Since late April, authorities have arrested a total of four people believed to be members of
Anonymous Cambodia, the local chapter of the global hacktivist group, and accused them of hacking
into government websites. All four are in detention awaiting trial.
Anonymous Cambodia's Facebook page over the past week contains posts about taking certain
government websites offline aÂÂ including the national police websiteÂÂ but does not mention
involvement in the walkie-talkie harassment.
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