Internet censorship in Thailand

Ranongrak SuwanchaweeFrom Dutch daily Trouw today:

The authorities of Thailand last year have closed down 2300 internet sites, mainly for insulting the royal family. Other motives were said to be pornography or state security. The government will ask courts to close down 400 more web sites.

Critics say that the government uses a law against insulting the royal family arbitrarily. In this way, they say, the government is trying to silence the opposition. …

The new minister of communication Ranongruk Suwanchawee said yesterday that she wanted to extend the powers of the government Internet controllers. Already, her department has reserved a million euro for making a ’war room’ which will control web sites 24 hours a day.

This amount yesterday caused a cynical reaction on the web site of the Bangkok Post. A reader had calculated that from that money, 18,750 poor students would have been able to do a free university entrance examination.

By the way, as I went to the Bangkok Post page linked by Trouw, I could not find the comment about the poor students. Had it been … errr …. censored meanwhile by Ms Ranongrak Suwanchawee and/or her ilk? By the way, the Bangkok Post speels Ranongrak, not Ranongruk; I presume that Trouw made a mistake here.

Australia certainly is not the only country with governmental Internet censorship policies. Update on Australia, March 2009: here.

Britain: Email law an attack on freedom, warns Liberty: here.

3 thoughts on “Internet censorship in Thailand

  1. Pingback: Thai royals protected by police state laws | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Three years Thai jail for Australian novelist | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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