Website Censorship in Thailand – 2002-2007

This page: Website censorship in Thailand - 2002-2007

Also: Website censorship in Thailand - 2008-2011

YouTube selective blocking - December 13, 2007
It appears that YouTube did cooperate with Thai authorities as was claimed in a selective blocking of clips deemed offensive to the monarchy. For instance:

Outside of Thailand, this video has 159,871 views and 8761 comments (right).
Inside Thailand, the same page shows: "This video is unavailable" (left).

This is the same for several videos viewable outside of Thailand, but not from within the country.

Watchdog's webboards bombarded by lewd links - Bangkok Post, December 13, 2007
...The centre, which is attached to the ministry as a watchdog on cultural issues, said it was concerned about the links, because webboard readers included young people and many web links carried blatant names, such as sexy girls and sexy cowgirls.
The attack on the website comes a few days after the ministry said it was contemplating rating a romance novel...


Cyber lèse majesté law - Prachatai, November 13, 2007
...In this regard, a question was raised in the seminar as to whether the authorities can use others' internet identities to collect information and can then use the information in court.  A law expert and a drafter of the Computer Crime Act Paiboon Amornpinyokiart said that Article 25 of the law requires lawful acquisition of evidence.
"But the court usually takes a special interest in lèse majesté cases.  In my experience, the court accepts all kinds of evidence regarding these cases.  In normal cases, no," Paiboon said.
..."Why was the law enforced in such a surreptitious manner?  Why not transparent?  Dozens of police were involved in the raid to make the arrest, and family members were not informed.  The other one was also captured when her room was raided.  Computers were seized.  And they were detained at the Crime Suppression Department for 7 days before being transferred to prison," Chiranuch said.
The Prachatai Director said that it was unreasonable for the authorities to try to prevent this case from being publicized.  So it was questionable if the arrests and detention were made following proper procedure.  Suspicion and fear have gripped internet community members, who feel threatened by the dark power under the law...


Internet law - Thai Computer Related Offenses Act of 2007 - IBLS, November, 2007
A much-needed computer crimes law has been passed in Thailand, going into effect in mid 2007, but the results have baffled Internet freedom advocacy groups, with one labeling it “incomprehensible. “ The drafted Act appears overly broad, since an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is defined such that anyone allowing another to use their computer becomes an ISP. In fact, lending a data storage site or resource also makes one an ISP, despite the fact there may be no hookup involved...

Alleged poster of lese majeste comment on Prachatai web-board questioned by police - Prachatai, October 25, 2007
...Prajin told Prachatai that he had kept other cyber fellows posted on the updates on this allegation for his own safety. He said he had to take the risk because he was more afraid of being quietly kidnapped than committing more offences.
"There have been precedents of such kidnaps. So I must speak out for my safety," he said.
He said while waiting to meet the police he visited reporters at the Crime Suppression Division, and asked their opinions on lèse majesté cases. He was told the reporters were afraid to make reports, and even if they sent in reports, their desk editors would not publish them anyway. He told them that he considered this kind of case important, and reporters could report the facts; this would benefit the public. There have been numerous cases of lèse majesté, and it might put the accused in danger if there was no media coverage...

WordPress blocking? - October, 2007
From time to time readers send us this blocking html that appears on WordPress (right). It reads: An apologize TOT Plc. As a Thai organization, TOT has halted connection to the website as it contains inappropriate content, messages, and pictures, which could painfully affect all Thais' minds.
We are not sure what precisely is being blocked and we have not seen WordPress blocked via our KSC account.

Eritrea ranked last for first time while G8 members, except Russia, recover lost ground - Bloggers now threatened as much as journalists in traditional media - RSF, October, 2007
...In Malaysia (124th), Thailand (135th), Vietnam (162nd) and Egypt (146th), for example, bloggers were arrested and news websites were closed or made inaccessible. “We are concerned about the increase in cases of online censorship,” Reporters Without Borders said. “More and more governments have realised that the Internet can play a key role in the fight for democracy and they are establishing new methods of censoring it. The governments of repressive countries are now targeting bloggers and online journalists as forcefully as journalists in the traditional media.”

YouTube controversy in the international press - October 15, 2007
Here is the full article: The 'YouTube battle' continues in Thailand - The Straits Times, October 13, 2007
But most news outlets carried this like a current news brief about the Prem videos. However the Prem video blocking threat is old news going back to September 21. And in any event, the videos were never blocked...

Earlier: DSI seeks to block YouTube videos - Bangkok Post, September 21, 2007
..."In the couple of days, we will seek a court order to block those links deemed to cause public confusion and threaten national security," head of the unit Yanaphon Youngyuen said. "While awaiting the court order, we are seeking cooperation from internet service providers to block those links."
There are two parts of the postings, entitled The Crisis of Siam I and II. They were posted by iunknown79...


Earlier: YouTube not yet blocked... - September 29, 2007
We just thought we would note that, despite reports from last Friday that either YouTube or certain videos on the site would be blocked, YouTube and the videos in question are still available. It is worth noting that each time there is an attempt to extend the idea of "being above criticism" is those outside of royalty (such as to Privy Councilors), such attempts are generally rejected.


Alleged cyber offenders go free as the prosecution did not pursue the case in court - Prachatai, October 14, 2007
Web-board posters ‘Praya Pichai' and ‘Ton Chan' appeared at Bangkok's Criminal Court on Friday Oct 12, and were told by the court that the prosecution had yet to proceed with the case.
Prachatai manager Chiranuch Premchaiporn has been monitoring the case and said that both persons were due to report to the court as their custody had expired and the prosecution was obliged to file the lawsuit with the court within that day. But they were notified by court officials that the prosecution had not proceeded with the case, so in effect their case was dropped, though only temporarily as the statute of limitations is 10 years. That means the case can be re-opened at any time, Chiranuch said...

Police summon a web-board poster on obscure lese majeste comments in Prachatai forum - Prachatai, October 13, 2007
...On Oct 11, an anti-coup activist and frequent web-board poster Prajin Thanangkorn told Prachatai that the Crime Suppression Division had issued a witness warrant for him to testify on the alleged offence. The warrant identified the alleged offenders as ‘unidentified'.
...Prajin said Lt Col Apichon told him that the web-board topic in question was the topic posted on Nov 21, 2006. Prajin searched for a possible topic and found that it was about ‘extra-constitutional influential figure(s)'.


Will Thai reforms make censorship worse? - Time, October, 2007
...but what's wrong with flying saucers or a musical monk? Apichatpong, 37, spent two years filming the story, based loosely on the lives of his physician parents, and says he doesn't know why Thailand's censors wanted to cut the four scenes. He also refused to play along. So Syndromes, which opened last month in London as part of an Apichatpong season at BFI Southbank, won't be showing anytime soon in Bangkok. "I'm sick of this system," the director sighs.
... There's certainly a degree of dark humor in Apichatpong's latest predicament. Frustrated, and with the domestic prints of Syndromes currently in police custody, he has found inspiration for his next project, a film about censorship in Thailand with the working title of Primitive. The only problem is that there's no guarantee anyone in Thailand will be able to see it.

YouTube not yet blocked... - September 29, 2007
We just thought we would note that, despite reports from last Friday that either YouTube or certain videos on the site would be blocked, YouTube and the videos in question are still available. It is worth noting that each time there is an attempt to extend the idea of "being above criticism" is those outside of royalty (such as to Privy Councilors,) such attempts are generally rejected.

Thailand's controversial 'YouTube' ICT minister throws in the towel - TNA, September 21, 2007

On the forum: Cybercrime
On the forum: Earlier blacking of YouTube
On the forum: Coup B'day-YouTube

DSI seeks to block YouTube videos - Bangkok Post, September 21, 2007
..."In the couple of days, we will seek a court order to block those links deemed to cause public confusion and threaten national security," head of the unit Yanaphon Youngyuen said. "While awaiting the court order, we are seeking cooperation from internet service providers to block those links."
There are two parts of the postings, entitled The Crisis of Siam I and II. They were posted by iunknown79...


Legal website closes after contempt of court allegation - Prachatai, September 15, 2007
[Here's the website in question.]
...It was understood that the case relates to certain comments posted on the webboard, criticizing past judgments and actions of the court over controversial political issues, including the verdict to dissolve the Thai Rak Thai party and retroactively ban its executives from politics, and the court's involvement in the arrest of anti-coup leaders a few weeks ago...

Second cyber crime detainee gets bail - Prachatai, September 17, 2007
...The police believed she used the alias ‘Ton Chan' in posting comments offensive to the monarchy on several political internet discussion forums.  She was first detained at the Crime Suppression Division, and then transferred to Bangkok Remand Prison.  She reportedly suffered poor health. 
Her family previously had difficulty in finding 100,000 baht to bail her out, and several web-board members and human rights advocates were starting to raise funds for her.  Finally her family managed to collect the money, and the court ordered her released this evening (Sept 17). 
On Sept 19 afternoon, the Campaign for Popular Media Reform and Freedom Against Censorship Thailand will submit a letter to the Prime Minister at Government House to ask for clarification of proceedings in this case. 

Free Pichai blog - September 8, 2007
"Pichai was arrested from the crime of criticizing the royalty on famous Thai chatroom. As of now, he was not given access to the attorney or seeing his family and friends."

One released on bail, one still detained; authorities know nothing - Prachatai, September 8, 2007
[Interesting how it seems the authorities secretly took over the original forum and changed its content.]

Second person detained under Cyber Crime Act is found - Prachatai, September 7, 2007
The second person reported to have been arrested under the new Computer Crime Act has been found detained at Bangkok Remand Prison, the same place where a 36-year-old programmer was held.
The unnamed woman was reportedly arrested on Aug 24 around noon. Officials possibly from the Information and Communications Technology Ministry and police raided her house by breaking the locks and seized a computer without producing a search warrant...


Notorious website owner released - 'Phraya Phichai' bailed, then slips quietly away - The Nation, September 7, 2007

A 37-year old man detained for two weeks at Bangkok Remand Prison on charges under the new Computer Crime Act was released on bail yesterday, a source said.

The source confirmed that the man was the webmaster for www.propaganda.forumotion.com, which mainly discusses the monarchy. The webmaster, widely known in the cyber community as Phraya Phichai, was quietly arrested two weeks ago and public access to his website has been denied since then.

Phraya Phichai, a pseudonym, became the first victim of the new Computer Crime Act, which went into effect on July 18.

Though he was arrested on August 24 by Crime Suppression police, he was first seen by his family on Wednesday. During his two weeks in custody, Phraya Phichai never consulted with a lawyer, the source said.

According to the source, Phraya Phichai was charged under Article 14 (1) and (2), which prescribes punishment of a maximum five years imprisonment or a Bt100,000 fine for posting false content on the Internet to hurt others and public security.

It was the first time that police exercised their power under the new law and the story was first reported by the Financial Times weekend edition.

Quoting a senior Thai official, the London-based paper said authorities have used the law to arrest two Thais for "what were deemed particularly offensive comments about the monarchy on Internet chatrooms".

Throughout the past two weeks, Netizens have been worrying about the arrest and disappearance of Phraya Phichai. They have sought an explanation from the Thai government about the Financial Times' report.

Assuming that Phraya Phichai was one of the two victims cited in the report, a Net surfer has started a weblog called Free Phichai, criticising the arrest and demanding the release of the webmaster.

On Tuesday, Fah Diew Kan (Same Sky) Publishing house, the publisher of a radical political magazine under the same name, issued a statement demanding that all agencies related to the issue, particularly the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry and police, explain all facts related to the Financial Times' report.

"If someone was arrested, the government and all agencies concerned with the issue must respect that person's human rights and entitlement to justice," said the statement.

The Computer Crime Act, proposed by the ICT Ministry, has been mired in controversy since it was drafted due to the excessive power of police, who are allowed to seize computers of people suspected of disseminating "insulting or pornographic" content.

The law raised concerns among both local and international human rights organisations such as Reporters Without Borders, which said it might result in an increasingly restrictive policy towards free expression online.


Press group slams Google over YouTube deal in Thailand - ITworld.com, September 5, 2007
A press advocacy group is "dismayed" about Google Inc.'s reported decision to block YouTube videos from viewers in Thailand that are considered inappropriate or illegal by that Asian government.
...Thailand recently introduced the Computer Crime Act, which gives authorities the power to seize the computers of people suspected of accessing or creating content deemed insulting or pornographic, according to the IFJ.
Activist, social worker and webmaster Sombat Bun-ngam-anong is currently serving a 12-day detention order for alleged defamation for violating the Act, the IFJ said in Wednesday's statement.
...The blogger's arrest "confirms our fears about the dangers of a law that is supposed to combat pornography but turns out to be a way of restricting and controlling press freedom," Reporters Without Borders charged.

Blogger reportedly held under new computer crime law - Reporters without Borders, September 5, 2007
...The website site Prachatai.com quotes a “reliable source” as saying a 36-year-old computer programmer was arrested because of comments posted anonymously on web forums. The offending post appears to have been one deemed “critical of the monarchy.” After being held for six days at the Police Crime Suppression Division office, he was reportedly transferred to a Bangkok prison on 30 August...


Arrests reported for cyber crime - The Nation, September 2, 2007
...The arrest was reported on the front page of the Financial Times' weekend edition. The paper quoted a senior official as saying that "in recent weeks, authorities have used a new computer crime law to arrest two Thais, now in custody, for offensive comments about the monarchy on Internet chat rooms".
...The law raised concerns among both local and international human rights organisations such as Reporters Without Borders, which said it might result in an increasingly restrictive policy towards free expression online.

Regional perspective: YouTube, my tube and toyland Thailand - The Nation, September 3, 2007
...The YouTube episode and the passage of the Registration Press Act of 2007 have one thing in common: the overwhelming concern that someone somewhere might criticise the Thai monarchy. The official mindset is simple: if this is a possibility, there must be countermeasures to deal with it decisively.
...In the case of the Registration Press Act, it was passed unanimously by the National Legislative Assembly because of one conditional cause. It states that written materials of foreign origin critical of the monarchy in any form must not be imported into the country...


YouTube gets royal pardon in Thailand - The New Zealand Herald, September 2, 2007
[A rather misleading headline...]

Learn a lesson in free speech with YouTube - The Nation, September 1, 2007
...Is it okay to protect the right to freedom of speech of a video producer while ignoring the rights and freedoms of millions of Thai citizens?"
Is it appropriate that a person is able to ridicule or make false accusations against someone in a YouTube video and get away with it in the name of free speech?
Where is the balance between the rights of various parties in cyberspace when your website is accessible around the world?
Should the website pay more attention to diverse cultural sensitivities?
As a host, should you take responsibility for the possible effects of your video?...


YouTube is back - August 30, 2007

The Nation claims: Urgent: Youtube is back - The Information and Communications Technology Ministry has lifted ban on Youtube.com.

Ban on YouTube lifted after deal - The Nation, August 31, 2007

Legal experts, webmasters slam govt for illegally blocking websites - Bangkok Post, August 17, 2007
...But, he said, the unchecked blocking of websites by the government without court approval was now a major problem.
Webmasters have received phone threats and other various forms of intimidation from officials criticising content on their websites and threatening to ban them, he said. Mr Poramate also said the officials intimidating them had refused to reveal their names.
He said webmasters had provided software programs such as Ultrasurf to internet users to reverse the blocking but had then been told off by the ICT for distributing the programs...

Not unblocked - July 27, 2007
One more reason not to listen to bloggers...

YouTube Unblocked as Thai Junta Relaxes - New York Times, July 25, 2007
A computer programmer/blogger brings word via Boing Boing that Thailand has unblocked YouTube again, more than three months after several videos posted on the site were deemed insulting to the king, a high crime in that country...

BoingBoing already updated this: YouTube remains blocked in Thailand, nevermind

A thread on this is here.


YouTube unblocked??? - 20:06, July 25, 2007
Many readers are telling us YouTube has been unblocked and there's a BoingBoing post on this as well. However, at least via KSC from where we are trying to view it, it is still blocked. Some are speculating that TOT accidentally unblocked it... and there is no order to unblock it after all. A thread on this is here.

Metacafe.com blocked in Thailand? - July 12, 2007
Youtube has been banned for some time. Now it appears that Metacafe.com is blocked as well.

ICT website defaced by hacker - The Nation, July 19, 2007
Thai police get tough Net laws - The Nation, July 18, 2007
Taking effect today, a new law allows police officers or government inspectors to seize computers on private premises suspected of containing pornographic material or evidence in connection with either general criminal activities or cyber crimes...

Cabinet revokes military ban on websites - TNA, July 3, 2007
No more website closures by authorities: Sitthichai - The Nation, July 1, 2007
...Sitthichai who at one stage during the talk called himself 'incompetent' insisted that the Ministry has since the coup, blocked only some 200 or so websites and not 17,000 plus as claimed by the Freedom Against Censorships Thailand (FACT) group. He added that he knows that "it's hard to believe", however...

Court orders website watched - The Nation, June 29, 2007
...However, Chief Justice Jirawan Suyanwanichkul did not seek the closure of the website, www.sae-dang.com, as requested by acting police chief Seripisut Temiyavej, who won a defamation trial against Khattiya that later resulted in his conviction. Jirawan only called on agencies fighting online crimes to keep websites in check...

Political websites,YouTube, to be allowed by ICT - TNA, June 25, 2007
Thailand has become totally lost in cyberspace - The Nation, June 18, 2007

...As far as the Internet is concerned, the government has transformed Thailand into a repressive regime on a par with Burma, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Iran, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. As of last week, at least 50,000 sites were banned, including commentaries, anti-monarchy sites, anti-government sites and sexually explicit sites...
Meet the eccentric Thai minister who banned YouTube - IHT, June 7, 2007
Thanks to Curtis for pointing this out...
...The term junta evokes images of aging generals in starched pea-green military uniforms reading out typewritten decrees and brooking little dissent. Yet nine months after the coup, the Thai junta is something quite different, a colorful and cacophonous group that never quite seems to read from the same song sheet...

"Bye-Thaksin"

ICT shuts down hi-thaksin.org, 16 other websites - The Nation, May 27, 2007
...Access to hi-thaksin.org has been denied following Thaksin's chief counsel in Thailand, Noppadon Pattama, saying he would post a video of his client's latest speech on the site.
Similar action has been taken against saturdayvoice.no-ip.info for reporting the deposed leader's movements.
Among other popular sites established by Thaksin supporters to be blocked are rakchat.org, saturdaylive.org, saturdaycenter.com, dday5450.org and saturdaycenter.com.


Govt blocking of websites 'damaging Thailand's reputation' - The Nation, May 25, 2007
Thailand lacks consistency in respecting media freedom, especially in the age of the Internet, attracting severe criticism at home and abroad.
"The Thai government thought the country was still free if the BBC or CNN was blocked for a few seconds or a video clip shut down for an hour," Kavi Chongkittavorn, assistant group editor of Nation Multimedia Group, told a seminar on "State and media in Thailand during political transition" at the Thai Journalists' Association...

"Hi-Thaksin Direct" - May 24, 2007
Latest email salvo from Hi-Thaksin. An accompanying email reads: Nine months of the mind of Thaksin - Sawaddee krab brother sisters and people, I really thank that you give moral support for me and remember me through Hi-Thaksin web and other places and also talked about me in many forums.
About the children when the school period comes, the government and CNS may not pay attention. Thaksin still worries and care about this. Because of the bad economy, the government may not have money for scholarships, so parents can ask for scholarships at the Thaikom Foundation.
Every opinion, support and moral support we send to Thaksin. He thanks everyone.


Cybercrime law no prescription for dictatorship - FACT, May 22, 2007
Thai cybercrime law: Long overdue or a threat to the industry? - Bangkok Post, May 18, 2007
Prinya Home-Anek, CEO of ACIS, a leading Thai security training and consultant firm, explained how the new law now requires certain categories of Internet...

In Thailand, legislation allows censorship of online news - CPJ Press Freedom Online, May 14, 2007
The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned that new legislation in Thailand will further weaken press freedom guarantees...

Google's disappointing actions in Thailand - Blogging Stocks, May 15, 2007
...Couldn't YouTube have said, "We respect the King but we also respect free speech and are committed to promoting these values"? It's not the first time Google has backed down in a free speech right. It also agreed to censor its site for China, removing references to events the government there considers offensive...

Hand em over. Thai government wants YouTube to provide users' identity - Geekzone, May 12, 2007
Web War of Words - The Nation, April 12, 2007
Council for National Security fumbles as Thaksin makes a comeback in cyberspace...

YouTube expected to remove clips of Thai king - AFP, May 11, 2007
Thailand gets new cyber crime law - Bangkok Post, May 9, 2007
...The bill sailed through its third reading on Wednesday by a vote of 119 to 1. It requires royal endorsement before it can be formally enacted into law.
The bill regards as a crime the intention to withhold internet protocol (IP) addresses and violators are subject to severe punishment, according to the NLA special committee assigned to scrutinise the law...

ICT Ministry to sue YouTube over clip - Company 'is trying to bully Thailand' - Bangkok Post, May 4, 2007
...Mr Sitthichai denied the government had violated media freedom, saying it blocked only 16 websites as opposed to 9,000 websites banned by the previous government.
Though non-elected, the government was more democratic, he said.
Mr Paiboon proposed the government promote self-censorship among webmasters.
Pantip.com founder Wanchat Padungrat said that instead of blocking websites, the government should encourage constructive ways of expression, for the sake of reconciliation...

Govt defends treatment of media after critical report - Bangkok Post, May 3, 2007
The present government has treated the media much better than the deposed Thaksin Shinawatra administration, government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalap said yesterday.
His remark came after the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) placed Thailand at the bottom of the list of 10 countries where press freedom has deteriorated the most over the past five years...

Backsliders - Committee to Protect Journalists, May 2, 2007
...The backsliders reflect a mixture of relatively open countries that have turned increasingly repressive and traditionally restrictive nations where press conditions, remarkably, have worsened. Nations such as Thailand and Morocco have been considered press freedom leaders in their regions but have charted sharp declines over the past five years...


Thai censorship bill set for passage - ZDNet, April 30, 2007
...Under Article 17 of the bill, the ICT minister could seek court approval to shut down undesirable Web sites. It would be the first time that Thailand had a legal tool to deal with the problem, he said...

Thailand employs internet tracking software to nab child sex offenders - Channel NewsAsia, April 19, 2007
In Thailand, a new internet tracking software may help law enforcement agencies pool resources, and catch child sex offenders. Currently, many suspects are able to escape prosecution by crossing borders before the law catches up with them...

Sitthichai gets no kick from the Net - The Nation, April 15, 2007
Information and Communica-tions Technology Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom says the Internet is not an "exciting" tool - a strange sentiment, maybe, for the man who guides the technology in Thailand.
The minister has ordered five websites blocked since he assumed the position eight months ago.
He admitted he was not information-technology savvy and made minimum use of the Internet. The reason Sitthichai, 59, is not excited by the Internet is simple: "I'm old."
"I have an e-mail account but rarely check it; normally I use the telephone." He visits two websites only on a regular basis.
He said he had "not even glanced" at most of the five sites he was responsible for closing.
"I once visited pantip.com and was confused by its many rooms. I quit and never went back," he said...


Pantip.com web board chatting again - Bangkok Post, April 11, 2007
...Wanchat Padungrat, founder and owner of Pantip.com, said he told staff to carefully watch for posts deemed offensive to the monarchy.
"We will increase staff to watch the site 24 hours a day," he said. "I'm confident that we could control improper messages."
Meanwhile, ICT Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said the ministry allowed the public to criticise the work of the government and the Concil for National Security.
But then he immediately contradicted himself, saying that such discussions must be done within limits he did not define, and should not damage national security in a way he did not point out...


Sitthichai: No plans to shut web forums - Bangkok Post, April 10, 2007
...''I support freedom of expression,'' he said. ''No websites will be banned as long as their contents are not indecent or insulting to the monarchy.''...
Sombat Boonngamanong, webmaster at Nocoup.org, which hosts a political forum, said the number of users of his web board suddenly skyrocketed from about 1,700 to 4,200.
''Most of them were people who fled Pantip.com in search of a new space to continue their political discussion,'' he said.
More than 10 staff were deployed to delete unseemly messages from the web board, otherwise they feared it could be used by the ICT as a reason to shut down their website, said Mr Sombat, a critic of the Sept 19 coup.


The row over images mocking the Thai king has sparked a backlash among YouTube users - Aljazeera, April 10, 2007
...A search for "thai king" on YouTube produced more than 1,000 hits, including video responses questioning the removal of the allegedly offending clip and the user's account...


Hi-Thaksin site reachable - April 10, 2007
The hi-thaksin site seems reachable today. There's also a page showing how to circumvent the blocking.


Govt losing Internet 'PR war' to opponents - The Nation, April 10, 2007
The Information and Commu-nications Technology Ministry admitted yesterday they were "falling behind" the anti-government camp in a PR war being fought on the Internet - but said it would improve the government's overall strategy by improving official websites...



Pantip.com's "Rajdumnern forum" closed
Pantip.com's forum for discussing politics has been taken offline.

Pantip's political page is banned - The Nation, April 8, 2007

Censors extend Internet bans - Bangkok Post, April 8, 2007
...The minister said the entire website might be closed if it does not cooperate with the ministry.
He strongly warned others he might close them as well.
The ICT ministry issued so-called "warnings" to Prachathai.com and Mthai.com to monitor posts which might violate national security and lese majeste.
At the same time, the minister gave no hint on when - if ever - he plans to lift the total block on YouTube.com, which has shut down the world's most popular video-sharing site to many Internet subscribers in Thailand.


Action coming against Internet lese majeste offenders - TNA, April 8, 2007
Thailand will take tough action against Internet users posting video clippings deemed to mock royal family members and creating divisiveness in the Kingdom...


YouTube Not Yours Any Longer in Thailand (Editorial) - The Irrawaddy, April 11, 2007
...Perhaps YouTube and its spokesperson should learn more about the world before offering the rest of us their narrow insights into the microscopic space they occupy in it.

YouTube blocked again - April 4, 2007

tmctobay.com - The Nation, April 2, 2007
The Nation photo: Yodsak Kosaiyakanon, university lecturer, shows a complaint in which he called for police to take legal action against a website; www.tmctobay.com. He alleged that it was not proper for the website to campaign for HM the King to oust Privy Councillor Prem Tinsulanond.


Govt panel to control 'inappropriate' media - Bangkok Post, March 29, 2007
...He said one of the first major issues the committee could look into is trying to stop websites hosting advertisements for 1-900 telephone services, which use tempting internet ads to lure teenagers.
''The services use sexually alluring advertisements such as 'call this number to exchange of sexual experiences' or 'to find students working on the side for commercial sex call here,'' he said.
''The messages are posted openly on the websites as if the laws do not exist.''
He said there were some 500,000 web pages in Thailand that are sexually seductive, and 250 websites showing nude video clips of teenagers...

Thailand's Internet governance is a mess - The Nation, March 16, 2007
...During Thaksin's reign, the Internet was used to promote his government's policies and his personality cult. It is an open secret that MICT was created to facilitate and promote his telecom business empire. Indeed, the ongoing and vexing question continues to be whether this ministry should be abolished altogether. The ambiguous status of MICT helps explain why there is so much confusion regarding the country's Internet governance...

Pro-Thaksin site is okay: CNS - The Nation, March 14, 2007
[The site still seems blocked though.]
The Council for National Security (CNS) has no concerns about a pro-Thaksin Shina-watra website campaigning against the current administration and figures investigating corruption allegations against the former prime minister...

ICT blocks pro-Thaksin website - Bangkok Post, March 14, 2007
The Information and Communication Ministry managed to block a pro-Thaksin website yesterday evening after beating web operators trying to sidestep them. The operators tried to restore the site www.hi-thaksin.net at night, but could only put back on the web a link to a video clip of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra greeting his supporters.
The Council for National Security (CNS) yesterday ordered the ICT to crack down on the website if the clip and other pro-Thaksin content were deemed to spark divisions in society...

"Impressive Memories" - March 13, 2007
Another pro-Thaksin site...
Also: Bangkok Post article mentioning the site:
ICT looking at pro-Thaksin website's legality


YouTube blocked in Thailand - March 10, 2007
Internet web sites focus of Thai public opinion - The Irrawaddy, February 1, 2007
...Interior Minister Aree Wong-araya said Wednesday anti-government “undercurrent” groups are using the Internet to undermine the authority of the interim government and the coup leaders.
"They have increased their attack potential by resorting to a higher-tech form, establishing Web sites to verbally attack the government (in cyberspace)," he said, according to a  Thai News Agency report.
Aree said the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology should take action against such Web sites. He offered no details about the Web sites he was referring to or their number...

Forum blocked? - March 8, 2007
Thanks to several readers for reporting the 2Bangkok.com forum seems to be blocked from within Thailand. Sometimes these things clear up. We'll see what happens today...

Bangkok opera goes on despite censorship of last show - Playfuls, February 20, 2007
[Not web based censorship, but interesting...]
...Despite a run-in with Thailand's "thought police" over its last performance, the Bangkok Opera will go on, and is planning to stage Southeast Asia's first performance of The Rape of Lucretia in the capital next week, organizers said Tuesday.
"Our country is not yet a totally fascist dictatorship," said Somtow Sucharitkul, founder of the Bangkok Opera foundation which has arguably put Thailand on the world opera map over the past five years...

Thaksin interview blocking - January 2007
ICT blocks porn site abusing Buddha's name - TNA, January 8, 2007
Thailand's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has blocked a US-based pornography website, using the word "Buddha" in a website name, ICT Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom.
The website www.Buddha-porn.com has already been blocked by the ICT ministry. The ICT minister said there are no measures to prevent launching improper websites on the Internet when they are based in other countries.
The ministry can only block such websites after officials detect them, he explained. Minister to the Prime Minister's Office Khunying Dhipavadee Meksawan said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact the website owner as a warning before taking legal action against him...

ICT urged to block porn site abusing Lord Buddha's identity - The Nation, January 7, 2007


"Harvard University to investigate internet censorship in Thailand" - January 2, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--2 January 2007
Dr. Bonnie Docherty, a clinical instructor in Harvard University's Human Rights Program is leading a team of researchers to Thailand in early January.
In conjunction with Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and its OpenNet Initiative project, the team will be investigating free expression in Thailand.
They will be examining the current Web-blocking and filtering done by several Thai government bodies, notably, the Royal Thai Police, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and the Communications Authority of Thailand.
The team will also be investigating how the status of the Internet relates to free expression in Thailand and using this information in the greater context of human rights.
As all Internet censorship in Thailand is done in absolute secrecy, we are eagerly awaiting the Thai government's response to international scrutiny from such a prestigious university as Harvard which numbers Thai Royals among its alumni.
The Harvard team will be interviewing NGOs, journalists, lawyers, academics and other experts.
Freedom Against Censorship Thailand will organise a public forum to discuss this issue regarding human rights to free communication in a democratic society.

Anti-coup website blocked again without notification - The Nation, December 30, 2006
Access to an anti-coup website, 19sep.org, has been blocked again, for the sixth time in three months, its webmaster Sombat Boon-ngam-anong said yesterday...
Sombat directed his criticism at the ICT Ministry, which received orders just hours after the coup three months ago to "block or destroy" websites and content considered as anti-junta. There was no official comment on the matter, however...

ICT asked to block webcam chat-room site, Camfrog - The Nation, December 19, 2006
The Culture Ministry Monday sought the blocking of an overseas-based website allegedly showing lewd acts and being abused by users in this country...
A network of Internet cafe operators brought the site to the attention of the Culture Watch Centre.
Some users is this country are allegedly posting and viewing lewd material on the site...

Psiphon - December 2, 2006
Psiphon is a censorship circumvention solution that allows users to access blocked sites in countries where the Internet is censored. psiphon turns a regular home computer into a personal, encrypted server capable of retrieving and displaying web pages anywhere...

Censors busy on the internet - Bangkok Post, November 24, 2006
Today, pornography is more freely accessible on the Thailand internet than ever. Censorship, meanwhile, has expanded into a secret bureaucracy which operates out of unknown offices. Censors provide neither explanation, warning nor appeal. They aim more and more at websites which are neither obscene nor a threat to children.
...As official censor, Minister Sitthichai Pokai-udom has closed hundreds of discussion forums including the internationally famous Midnight University. The ministry has intimidated internet providers from carrying national debate or allowing political websites. The minister has made no statement to the public to defend, explain or justify his avid use of the firewall of censorship.
Meanwhile, internet news sites now show Thailand as just slightly better than Burma or China at allowing net access by citizens--and far below the openness of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Before the Police Bureau on High Tech Crime stopped public reports earlier this month, it bragged it had blacklisted 34,437 websites. Of these ''illicit websites'' filtered since 2002, the police themselves said just 60% were pornographic. Nearly 4,000 were ordered closed by police because they allegedly violated national security. This, of course, is a well-known accusation and dodge by Thai censors. It is a carryover catchall, used to shutter newspapers and imprison innocent people decades before the internet came into existence...

"Accidental" blocking of 2Bangkok.com - November 30, 2006
We just found out that some people who use CSLoxinfo as their ISP have found 2Bangkok.com unreachable since November 15. CSLoxinfo wrote back to one user that the "problem was fixed." and replied to us that "Regarding your concern,please be informed that the problem have already been solved, please you try to open the website again."

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) website - November 24, 2006
* The Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) website
* Is Google censoring content in Thailand?
* Google says "no"
* and Art / Arthit Suriyawongkul's blog

10 Most Censored Countries
...Turkmenistan: State television displays a constant, golden profile of Niyazov at the bottom of the screen. Newscasters begin each broadcast with a pledge that their tongues will shrivel if their reports ever slander the country, the flag, or the president...

Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2006
Thailand continues to plummet down the charts...

Embattled Midnight University website complains to NHRC - The Nation, October 9, 2006
The operators of a website shut down shortly after last month's coup complain to National Human Rights Commission on Monday, saying they were informed that those loyal to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra were behind the shutdown...
The site was blocked immediately after it reported members had burned mock copies of the interim constitution.
Somkiat alleged his own investigation pointed to a "man connected to the old regime within ICT Ministry being responsible for ordering the site blocked"...

Thai Rak Thai website back online - The Nation, October 3, 2006
...The website plays up the resignation letter of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as party leader.

Left: RakMuangThai.org before the coup: "Constitution Care Club"

Left: RakMuangThai.org after the coup:
In the barred circle - Komchadluek, Krungtep Turakit, Nation group, Matichon, Manager, Thaipost
In the stop sign: Stop the media that destroys the nation

Two websites of Thaksin inaccessible - The Nation, October 2, 2006
...The two websites are www.thairakthai.or.th and www.thaksin.com which Thaksin used to receive mails and comments from his supporters as well as promoting himself and party's policies.


Midnight University website shut down after protest - The Nation, October 2, 2006
..."This particular action is a threat against academic freedom, a threat against press freedom, and a threat against an important public sphere. It in effect removed the public sphere from the society, which is unacceptable and cannot be justified," he said...

Also: Statement from Midnight University in Thai and English
Thailand among top 5 child abuse site hosts - Bangkok Post, October 4, 2006
...Once alerted, Information and Communications Technology officials would shut down illicit sex sites, but without notifying police to hunt for offenders. The blocked servers would not be available for internet surfers and police in Thailand, but would remain accessible overseas.
...Many foreigners thus pick Thailand as a base for ill-intended websites.
...Since April 2002, police have received complaints about 11,681 Thai-language porn sites, 7,273 foreign-language porn sites, 1,592 paedophile sites, 4,551 sites selling sexual materials and 860 sites offering sex services.

Thailand 'a world porn leader' - Bangkok Post, August 14, 2006
The top official in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology claimed today that Thailand is among the top 5 nations of the entire world in pornographic websites...
In addition to obscene sites, the ministry has attempted to block sites which can affect national security, such as those relating to the three southernmost provinces of Thailand. In practice, the censorship is leaky.

Cyber-freedom may face a crackdown - Concern grows over Internet opinions - Bangkok Post, August 22, 2006

[What is happening is that people are beginning to openly discuss the nature and future of the Thai monarchy. Accompanying these discussions is a proliferation of profane and over-the-top comments with lurid gossip about top figures in Thai society. All of this is counter to traditional behavior that prohibits open discussion of royal institutions. However, Thais have tolerated a surprising openness of opinions on these subjects as long as they are confined to the internet. Webmasters are mainly concerned that allowing this free speech would leave them open to damaging lawsuits from litigious Thais seeking to enforce strict lese majeste laws.]

As concern grows about controversial opinions being voiced at Internet webboards, Thai webmasters are wondering whether the time has come to clamp down on cyber-freedom. Webmasters of well-known sites, including Pantip.com, Prachatai.com and Midnight University (midnightuniv.org) attended a forum yesterday sponsored by Thammasat University's faculty of journalism to discuss the impact of certain opinions that have flooded their webboards.
...However, he noted, having registered members can pave the way for further management of the web. For example, it can create a close cyber community in which members will watch one another or elect representatives to look after the webboard.

Website censorship in Thailand - August 3, 2006
Web board takes break to cool off - Rajdamnoen blocks political discussion - Bangkok Post, July 30, 2006


(Source: Midnight University homepage)

Web board banned, claim of lese majesty - Bangkok Post, July 28, 2006
...Todsapol Tungtermsak, owner of Thaimisc.com, which provides free web pages to Midnight University, said he used his ''personal judgement'' in making the decision to close down the web board.
''There is a lot of wording that insults the monarchy on the web board. I can no longer allow them to operate,'' he said.
However, he earlier admitted to the online news agency Prachathai.com that the ban was on the orders of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry and the police.
Chiang Mai university lecturer Somkiat Tangnamo, webmaster of the www.midnightuniv.org site, said closing down the web board was a serious violation of freedom of expression.
The website administrators had no intention of offending the monarchy, but supported ''constructive discussion'' on the role of the monarchy, said Mr Somkiat...
''The censorship of our web board results from an ongoing competition for political hegemony. I believe that the ban is politically motivated,'' he said...

Criminal Court asked police to trace those post criticism against court on Web boards - The Nation, July 28, 2006
The Criminal Court has asked the Crime Suppression Division to trace the identities of those who had posted strong criticisms against the court on Web boards.
Than Boonyatulanon, secretary to the Criminal Court chief justice, said he asked CSD commander Pol Maj Gen Winai Thongsong to trace the IP addresses and find who were the ones who post the comments against the court after the court found the three election commissions guilty.


ScatterChat: anonymous, secure chat - July 23, 2006
via BoingBoing: ScatterChat is a new hactivist program from the Cult of the Dead Cow. It's an anonymous chat program that combines gaim, an open source encrypted chat protocol, with TOR, an open source "onion router" that disguises the origin and destination of packets, so that no one can know what you're chatting, nor whom you're chatting with...

Anonymouse - July 1, 2006
Sarah writes: I've just stumbled upon your page about censorship in Thailand. The service Anonymouse (www.anonymouse.org) may be interesting for you. I have a few friends in China which use this service to bypass censorship there.
Also: Net censorship: How to bypass China's Great Firewall

New rating system for all media - The Nation, June 29, 2006
...The ministry yesterday launched the Media Evaluation (ME) System Project, following a Cabinet resolution last October requiring it to develop, on a budget of Bt15 million, a ratings method for the media, including television, radio, films, the Internet and computer games.
...Now it wants 5,000 people to register at www.me.in.th or www.me.or.th to join the committee...

ONI: Internet Filtering Map - May 31, 2006
Irrepressible.info - May 30, 2006
Amnesty International has a new website devoted to combating website censorship: Chat rooms monitored. Blogs deleted. Websites blocked. Search engines restricted. People imprisoned for simply posting and sharing information.
The Internet is a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. Governments -- with the help of some of the biggest IT companies in the world -- are cracking down on freedom of expression.
Amnesty International, with the support of The Observer, is launching a campaign to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.

Tor: An anonymous Internet communication system - May 8, 2006
[Yes, this completely defeats Thai government web censorship...]
Download Torpark for your language, and put it on a USB Flash keychain. Plug it into any internet terminal whether at home, school, or public. Run Torpark.exe and it will launch a Tor circuit connection, which creates an encrypted tunnel from your computer indirectly to a Tor exit computer, giving the appearance of having the Tor exit computer's IP...

Thailand put on watch list for efforts to control web - AFP, May 3, 2006

Yale University Press Web page blocked by Thai authorities - AP, February 2, 2006
ThaiCybercop.com - February 1, 2006

New program will be launched on Radio Thailand - Thaisnews, January 31, 2006
...He said that the website will serve as a channel for the people to give the authorities any information related to obscene media, so that they can be eradicated from the country.
More on Website censorship in Thailand

Right: ThaiCybercop logo

Below: The Chinese internet nanny - Shanghaiist, January 16, 2006


CorruptionWatch.net is back - January 31, 2006
It appears CorruptionWatch.net is back. We note that the site runs the
Manager Online news alert feed under the site banner.


Also: Anti-graft site demands explanation - Bangkok Post, January 31, 2006
... ''There must be powerful figures masterminding the website's closure because our internet service provider (ISP) was intimidated and readily complied with their order,'' he said.
A day after the closure he had asked an executive of the ISP to clarify the matter, and was told the company felt it had to close the website because it was afraid. The website was hosted by Thaidreamhost.
The three website founders said it had been an instant success, receiving about 40,000 hits in the three weeks it was allowed to operate and about 900 corruption complaints.

Above: January 27, 2006 Below: January 29, 2006

CorruptionWatch.net gone - January 30, 2006

Anti-graft website shut down after 19 days - The Nation, January 30, 2006
..."When our webmaster called Naptec to ask the reason, it said it did it out of fear," Alongkorn said. "The company told us our website would be shut down from February 1, but we found that the plug was pulled on Saturday," he said.
"I sympathise with them. No business wants to lose their customers unless they face pressure from the authorities," Alongkorn said. "If we can't open our website locally, we may base it abroad," he added...


Plug pulled on website tracking graft - Government thought to be behind move - Bangkok Post, January 29, 2006
...The webmaster of the site only received a letter on Friday from internet hosting services provider Thaidreamhost, informing the site operators that service would be terminated on Feb1 for reasons that would seem unclear.
...Mr Veera said this would suggest that the hosting company had received an order to close the site down by withdrawing its hosting services...

Earlier: Anti-corruption website will be closed - The Nation, January 28, 2006
A respective anti-corruption website, www.corruptionwatch.net will be closed down next Wednesday at the order of CAT Telecom that oversees Thai internet service provider, a website founding member said yesterday.
"Our webmaster has received a letter from CAT Telecom's webmaster yesterday, saying that corruptionwatch.net will be shut down, starting from February 1. The letter did not say the reasons," said Khunying Jaruvan Maintaka, auditor general, told reporters.
The website team will have an urgent meeting to discuss the matters. "We think it is very strange because no reasons of the closing were mentioned. I think somebody is not happy that many people have visited our website which present solid corruption information," she said.
Jaruvan is among leading public figures who have joined hands to launch the Corruption Watch group and the website to monitor graft in the country. The others are Totrakul Yomanak, president of the Engineering Institute of Thailand; Democrat Party deputy leader Alongkorn Pollabutr; Veera Somkwamkid, secretary-general of the People's Network Against Corruption.
A source from the corruption watch online said if the website is closed down, the team will appeal to CAT Telecom.

Government denies plan to censor Manager website - IHT, January 26, 2006
PR Department wants to block us: Manager Online - The Nation, January 25, 2006
Manager Online alleges that the CAT Telecom Plc had been ordered by the Public Relations Department to cut public access to Manager Online Web site...

More website blocking? - December 15, 2005
[The police do not seem to be blocking the Thaiinsider.com site, which is returning a "Network Error" page (even from outside of Thailand). It remains unclear what newspapers mean every time they report that authorities "close down" websites... Update: December 15, 6:30pm - The site appears to be working.]
Ekkayuth website blocked - The Nation, December 15, 2005
Affair with top figure? Nahathai denies she's pregnant - The Nation, December 15, 2005
Emotional MP fumes over allegations, blames weight gain on healthy appetite. Thai Rak Thai MP Nahathai Thewphaingarm fought back tears at the party's headquarters on Phetchaburi Road yesterday as she denied allegations that she is four-months pregnant to a high-ranking party figure. The MP organised a press conference in response to the allegations posted on the Thaiinsider.com website, which belongs to business tycoon Ekkayuth Anchanbutr...

Ekkayuth.com - July 26, 2005
After Ekkayuth's www.thai-insider.com was blocked temporarily by the government, its content was moved to Ekkayuth.com Now Ekkayuth.com has been converted into Ekkayuth's personal website.

CPJ condemns censorship of two Web sites - CPJ, June 28, 2005
...On June 20, the site's Internet Service Provider (ISP) refused to carry the Web site, citing the MICT order. One day later, the site found another ISP, which also received the order to discontinue the FM92.25 site. Anchalee, program director and former host of some of its most critical shows, told CPJ today that FM92.25 was streaming its programs through a third ISP.
The government said its attempts to restrict this and other community radio stations were not politically motivated, according to news reports...

Blackout of online stations 'limits rights' - Bangkok Post, June 28, 2005
..."Besides, there are no laws which permit the ICT's internet inspector to close down websites, not even pornographic sites. The government can only sue the owners.''
Mr Jon accused the state of blackmailing the web radio's Internet provider into shutting down the gateway, which instantly cut off the transmission, because it had no legal grounds to pull the plug itself...

Editorial: Govt wrong to block websites - Bangkok Post, June 28, 2005
...The government's claims that the two websites were somehow seditious or even were against the nation's institutions were not credible. Some people neither accept or believe some of Mr Ekkayuth's corruption allegations. Similarly, Ms Anchalee hardly seemed credible in maintaining her radio antenna was of a legal height when it was placed atop a 38-storey building.
Now Mr Ekkayuth has opened a cat-and-mouse game with authorities with a new website. Ms Anchalee has announced she is leaving Thailand. Neither of these is a happy result...

Wrong urls - June 27, 2005
One constant of the Thai press is that they always publish wrong urls for websites. That is why we feel The Nation's erroneous urls stem from this tradition and not a fear of official retribution: (from Fans of banned websites meet to slam crackdown, The Nation, June 25, 2005) The "Jazz in the Park" event was the third held since the shutdown of the two websites - www.thailand-insider.com and www.9225.com.
The correct urls of the sites are www.thai-insider.com and www.fm9225.com.
www.thai-insider.com was only unreachable for about eight hours. Now it is back up again. It appears that what happened is that it was kicked off servers in Thailand, but it has not been banned, blocked or shut down thus far.

'www.fm9225.com Come Back!'- June 27, 2005
9:31am -
www.fm9225.com has reappeared as well...

www.fm9225.com blocked again - June 27, 2005
10:22pm - www.fm9225.com has been reblocked again in Thailand.

More on the blocked sites - June 25, 2005
Ekkayuth's www.thai-insider.com seems to be back online. www.fm9225.com now has a police block message (above) and the webmaster will reportedly leave the country.


Discontent growing over media control - The Nation, June 25, 2005
...Prasong Lertrattanawisut, the deputy managing editor of the Matichon newspaper, said Thaksin has become efficient and systematic in controlling the Thai media. “Everyone will have to question [the current state of press freedom] with reason,” he said, referring to the government’s alleged indirect control of media outlets through shareholders, advertisements and other means...


Thai corruption crusader cancels radio program, says government threatened to kill her - AP, June 24, 2005
A well-respected Thai radio host who reported on government corruption has canceled her daily program, saying she is leaving the county because state authorities threatened her life...

‘Harassed’ radio host quits, to go into exile - The Nation, June 24, 2005
...Anchalee later told reporters she could no longer withstand government pressure.
“The government has been harassing us in every way. We’ve been picked on from the beginning,” she said.
“At first, the government said our antenna was too high, making our signal interfere with the main radio stations. So we took down the antenna and broadcast through the Internet, which affected no one, but the government still shut down the website.”
She said that the FM 102.25 community radio station of Traffic Corner Co Ltd continued to broadcast at 4,000 watts, but the government took no action.
“I feel all alone in my fight for right and to bring the truth to the people,” she said...

Anti-govt website closures slammed - The Nation, June 24, 2005
...“In the absence of a specific law to govern cyber information and content, the loosely defined authority given to the ministry could be abused by the administration to quell critical voices in society."
...ICT Minister Suwit Khunkitti said the ministry’s cyber-inspection division was duty-bound to police websites in order to protect parties affected by harmful content and to ensure their content did not go against public order.
Suvit: No govt war on media - It's back to the dark age, opposition says - Bangkok Post, June 23, 2005
...The issue would not have blown up into a fiasco had it not been for the letter dated June 20 and signed by Public Relations deputy chief Pachoen Khampo which was sent to FM 92.25, he said.
The letter cited a ministerial regulation in ordering the station to improve its broadcast content.
It claimed the station made false comments about the government and its policies causing public misunderstanding and damage to the country. The programme slandered people and provoked disunity between the people and the government.
Mr Apichart said a government-appointed internet inspector later notified the station that the FM9225.com internet radio broadcast was being closed down...
Why this bid to muzzle dissent? - Bangkok Post, June 23, 2005
...In its relentless campaign to keep the media under control, the government has so far successfully cleansed the broadcasting media of nearly all voices of dissent.
...If criticism of the government is considered a national security threat, the authorities should seriously consider closing down many other sites as well, including the wildly popular pantip.com and that of the Manager daily newspaper...

Web sites critical of Thai government say authorities shut them down - AP, June 21, 2005
...The www.thai-insider.com site has moved to another server and adopted a new name, www.akeyuth.com. Its owner, Ekkayuth Anchanbutr, said in statement posted there that he would sue the ministry for violating his constitutional freedom of speech.
The closures come as the government has been cracking down on low-power community radio stations, saying they have been transmitting with higher-than-allowed power...
The www.fm9225.com Web site is an adjunct to one of these radio stations, and uses the Internet to relay its Bangkok-produced broadcasts to 57 community radio stations in seven other provinces...


Note: Ekkayuth Anchanbutr is the anti-Thaksin tycoon constantly embroiled in controversy (Ruling party spokesman claims coup plan against Thai government, AP, September 30, 2004 ) and at war with TRT (Authorities plan to seize assets, property of Ekkayuth, AP, September 10, 2004). He is also notable as a figure practically banned from being mentioned in Thai broadcast media (Questions over TV coverage, The Nation, September 10, 2003).
Several times he has threatened to name TRT party members who are corrupt or reveal other scandalous info about TRT, but has ultimately never done so. He often threatens to sue the government as well.
As a bold foe of TRT, he has many supporters. One of our favorite print media stories about him was "the threatening billboard." Also: A tale of two newspapers: AMLO about the Post and Nation's take on the threats to seize Ekkayuth's assets.


Search for more mentions of Ekkayuth on 2Bangkok.com


A tale of two newspapers: Website closures - June 22, 2005
The Nation states in the first sentence that the sites were shut down because they were "critical of the Thaksin government." The Post has a quote saying that "both websites encouraged people to join demonstrations and support a coup." The Nation also prominently names the urls of the website while the Post does not.
ICT Ministry bans websites attacking govt - Closures `violation of right of free speech' - Bangkok Post, June 22, 2005
...The inspector, who asked not to be named, said there was only evidence of website leases and there had been complaints that the content encouraged the public to stage demonstrations. They also contained fierce political accusations.
Through internet service providers, officials concerned demanded contact details from the operators, to no avail. So the websites were "suspended'' until they were improved and registered properly...
Anti-government websites shut down - The Nation, June 22, 2005
Two websites with content deemed strongly critical of the Thaksin government have been shut down, allegedly on orders from the Information and Com-munications Technology (ICT) Ministry...

'A tale of two newspapers' archives

Google's proxy defeats Thai web censorship - May 6, 2005
Google' s new Web Accelerator is also a proxy that appears to defeat Thai ISP blocking of various websites. At least for now...


Blocked site screens - April 2, 2005
Above and below are screens one gets when trying to access a blocked site from within Thailand. Recently, some blocked sites are being forwarded directly to the Royal Thai Police website (second screen below).


The April Fools blocking of 2Bangkok.com - April 4, 2005

Report offensive websites - January 4, 2005
The Royal Thai Police have translated their site into English and invite English-speakers to report websites to be blocked. Be sure to provide your "Informer detail." This blocking has been going on for several years. A big change in 2004 was the huge rise in blocked sites "Threatening National Security." This is principally due to anti-Thai sites that have sprung up since the Southern insurgency started.


ISPs face uncertainty
- December 25, 2004
With no adequate regulatory regime in place yet, the government is pondering provisional licenses for ISPs as current licenses expire (Provisional licenses possible for ISPs, Bangkok Post, December 25, 2004). It is no secret that some government entities would like block VOIP traffic and others want broader banning of 'inappropriate material' (like Singapore and Malaysia do). Once most of the ISPs are under provisional licensing (that is, licensing without clearly defined rules), the government will have a freer hand in implementing restrictions on local content and filtering of international sites. There has been a relentless (and some say coordinated) drumbeat in the Thai-language press about the danger the internet poses to young people.

'Blood Siam' blocked - December 6, 2004
As the list of blocked sites in Thailand nears 20,000, the ultra-nationalistic Thai-language site Blood Siam has been blocked, along with all of its mirrors.

Over 19,000 websites now blocked - November 24, 2004
Today the blocked websites list reached 19,051. It is interesting to note that the "websites that might endanger national security" (which consists mainly of les majeste and pro-Muslim insurgency views in the South) has jumped from 7% of blocked sites in February to almost 11% now.

Over 18,000 websites now blocked - November 1, 2004
Today the blocked websites list reached 18,034.

Over 17,000 websites now blocked - September 28, 2004
Today the blocked websites list reached 17,004.

Proxies blocked - August 28, 2004
We just noticed that KSC has successfully blocked most proxy sites!

Over 16,000 websites now blocked - August 10, 2004
Today the blocked websites list reached 16,003.

Over 15,000 websites now blocked - July 9, 2004
Today the blocked websites list reached 15,132.

Over 14,000 websites now blocked - May 29, 2004
Today the list of blocked websites reached 14,005. It has been growing by about 50 sites a day.
Also: Pulo website faces complete ban - TNA, May 25, 2004
The pulo.org site (in Malaysian and English) has been blocked with varying degrees of success for four years. It typically accuses the government of occupation and torture in the southern provinces. It is interesting to see a map showing a country called 'Patani': Police are planning to seek cooperation from all 18 Internet service providers (ISPs) in Thailand to totally block local access to the website of a well-known separatist group, Pattani United Liberation Organization, according to anti-cybercrime chief Pol. Col. Yannaphol Yangyuen.
The website cannot now be accessed by modem-connected users in Thailand, but those having broadband connections still can read it.
Pol. Col. Yannaphol told TNA yesterday that an upcoming meeting between the ISPs and police, as well as other government agencies concerned would discuss technological flaws that still allow the broadband users to access the website.
He said that authorities were also preparing 'correct information' to counter what was said in the Pulo website, but would not launch a new website to contain the correct information specially.

Over 13,000 websites now blocked - April 17, 2004
Today the blocked websites list reached 13,052. Whoever is in charge of this is adding sites daily. The list is actively updated (even on weekends and on Songkran), growing by 10 to 50 sites per day.

The blocklist revealed - March 9, 2004
The good folks at Thaivisa.com pointed out the list of sites banned by the police.

Blocked sites growing daily - March 2, 2004
If you follow the police page of blocked site stats (translation below), notice that the number of blocked sites grows daily (by at least 20 a day). Last week when 2B first mentioned it, the number of blocked sites was 11,510 and today it is 11,733. Anyone from a local ISP who can tell us the protocol for keeping and updating the blocklist?

11,510 blocked sites - February 23, 2004
A reader sent in a list of several hundred sites blocked by Thai ISPs. Most of these urls lead to a page entitled "Police Aleart." Perhaps a third of the sites in the list are those that keep changing their domain names to keep ahead of the block, so actually there are fewer sites blocked than the numbers alone indicate.

Besides the normal list of porn sites and trading points for pirated movies and software, there are a few other types of sites represented. One is for a long-standing resistance group in the deep south. Another is the website of Ladbrokes, an international gambling portal. Ladbrokes would probably be surprised to hear that their site is "closed by Royal Thai Police" (actually it is blocked). Ladbrokes does emphasize they offer "tax free online betting." That is just the kind of claim that would attract the attention of authorities.

According to the official police website there are 11,510 blocked sites in total. This shows that authorities are not attempting a comprehensive blocking regime at this time--just a piecemeal blocking of sites brought to their attention. On this Thai-language police page is an breakdown of the types of blocked sites. Here is what it says in English:


Type of website
# of sites
% ot total
Obscene or immoral websites (Thai language)
4,258
36.99%
Obscene or immoral websites (foreign language)
1,822
15.83%
Websites with obscene photos of children
787
6.84%
Websites that sell obscene items for immoral conduct (Thai language)
1,560
13.55%
Websites that sell obscene items for immoral conduct (foreign language)
154
1.34%
Websites that illegally trade copyrighted intellectual property
538
4.67%
Websites that sell other types of illegal items
954
8.29%
Websites that offer sex for sale
377
3.28%
Gambling (Thai language)
187
1.62%
Gambling (Foreign language)
61
0.53%
Websites that might endanger national security
812
7.05%
Total
11,510
100%


What to censor on the web - Bangkok Post, September 1, 2003
Participants were asked to rate 45 samples of content and pictures from various websites. They agreed child pornography, information on weapons and terrorism, which encourage violent behaviour in children, and saying bad things about the royal family and religions should all be banned. But participants were reluctant to rate websites offering lucky numbers for the lottery.
Selling of transquillisers and sexually stimulating drugs, websites promoting massage parlours, and aggressive and violent comments on popular web boards also provoked lengthy debate. Nor could the meeting agree where the line should be drawn for pornography...
At the ministry's request, internet service providers had already blocked about 100 violent and pornographic sites, he said. But the sites just changed their names and continued in business. Some were even accessible at schools using leased lines, which do not go through the screening of internet service providers.

What sites must Thai ISPs block? - November 5, 2002
Here's a short article about a Thai police order to shut down or block the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo) website permanently for "national security reasons." Does anyone know of any other sites that must be blocked by Thai ISPs?

Also: Website censorship in Thailand - 2008-2011

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