Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - California court denies Rainsy's request for Facebook information on Hun Sen



California court denies Rainsy's request for Facebook information on Hun Sen

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who has sought information from Facebook related to Prime Minister Hun Sen's Facebook page, speaks at an event in France in April. Facebook

California court denies Rainsy's request for Facebook information on Hun Sen

A California court has denied opposition figure Sam Rainsy’s request that social media giant Facebook hand over information related to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s page, despite having previously indicated it would demand some of the data, saying the scope of the petition was overly broad.

Rainsy’s legal team first filed the request to Facebook in February, asking it to provide information relevant to his defamation conviction for having said that the prime minister has paid for online “likes”. Facebook initially argued the request was too broad, and on Friday Judge Sallie Kim agreed.

“The entire Application suffers from the problem of being overly broad and burdensome . . . And to the extent that Applicant seeks information about investigation of Hun Sen’s Facebook page, those should be limited to investigations regarding ‘likes’,” she wrote in her decision.

Rainsy first accused Hun Sen of having paid for online support after The Post revealed in March 2016 that 80 percent of his “likes” that month had originated overseas, with many of them coming from countries known to host so-called “click farms”.

His initial petition requested a variety of information from Hun Sen’s page, and accused him of violating terms and services by using the platform to make death threats.

However, Kim said abuses of Facebook’s platform are not relevant to Rainsy’s Cambodian court cases. During a hearing last week, the judge had said she was “likely” to grant parts of Rainsy’s request.

“Although the Court initially noted that some parts of the Application would pass muster, the job of the Court is not to re-write the Application to narrow its breadth and scope,” the denial reads.

She said Rainsy is free to file a new application, which specifically focuses on the claim of paying supporters.

“Applicant may request another Application within the scope discussed above,” it says in closing.

Rainsy said on Sunday that his team would revise the petition and re-file it.

“The information I seek is critical to the defenses against Hun Sen’s frivolous lawsuits in Cambodia and to exposing his widespread fraud and abuse of social media,” he said in an email.

He also called for Facebook to “cease its efforts to avoid transparency”.

Representatives for Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year