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‘Hacktivists’ to undergo ‘loyalty test’

‘Hacktivists’ to undergo ‘loyalty test’

A senior police official yesterday said the Interior Ministry would ensure that two recently freed Anonymous Cambodia hackers were loyal to the state before allowing them to join the police to help combat cybercrime.

The local arm of the global “hacktivist” group waged a self-declared cyberwar on the government in the aftermath of last July’s national election but have gone quiet since five alleged members were arrested between April and June.

Bun King Mongkolpanha, 21, and Chou Songheng, 20, were arrested in April and handed two-year jail sentences on Tuesday that were reduced to time already served.

In return, the pair has agreed to join the MOI’s internal security department, which busted them in April after a lengthy investigation with the FBI.

On Tuesday, Chhay Sinarith, National Police deputy commissioner in charge of internal security, said the police were “really proud” of the duo’s skills, but admitted yesterday that he was actually “not sure how much they could contribute to help our police in the IT sector”.

“We have put them under probation, both in terms of their ability and mindset, to see whether they show that they are honest now and will really use their abilities to serve the police. If so, it’s good and they can serve society,” he said, adding that he was unaware when they would start work.

Neither of the two could be reached for comment yesterday. Their lawyer said he could not release contact details due to a family request.

The last post on Anonymous Cambodia’s Facebook page, on May 28, says “down everyday” next to the web address of the National Police.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KEVIN PONNIAH

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