Here is a screenshot taken in Bangkok, using an ADSL internet line.
Asia Sentinel is a web-based Asian regional publication focussed on news, business, arts and culture. The site was launched in August 2006. Headquartered in Hong Kong, it was founded by four (western) senior expatriate journalists (Wikipedia).
While the browser downloads data coming from the host… suddendly… you can see calls to… another address !
A very special one.
“Connecting to w3.mict.go.th…”
The infamous Ministry Of Information And Communication Technology… a bunch of lunatics who secretly cut, censor websites… sometime without any legal framework.
What does it mean ? That they are MONITORING Internet traffic, to some extend.
Before they just wanted to prevent prople to visit specific websites… Now, obviously, they want to make “lists”… If you visit a “sensitive” website (according to their insane criterias), MICT will notice.
The web traffic is passing through the computers of MCIT, this is why you see the calls to “Connecting to w3.mict.go.th…” on your brower.
A little bit of history.
First, they set up “web redirections”… Their targets were mostly porn websites… You know Thailand the land of mia noi and bordellos on a daily basis, but all those serious politicians and bureaucrats can not stand to look tits on a computer screen.. Anyway.
So you wanted to visit for instance Bigtits.com.. and you were redirected to w3.mict.go.th, with a very nice “Big Brother” like logo with an eye. Scarry.
But It was funny. Even bon enfant.
Then, after the Coup in 2006… they became more agressive. Cutting thousands of websites. Porn, gambling, and… politics. Meanwhile, they tried some “stealth” system… The Big Brother Eye Logo was way too visible, even for the lunatics in uniform.
So you wanted to visit Screwyou.com or deadtothemilitary.com… then your browser displayed a nice “network error”… Shameful censorship… from people full of guilt. It was censorship disguised behind technical problems.
Meanwhile the Junta designed new law to fight against Internet. They became even more agressive.
And since a few months, actually since Abhisit was nominated Prime Minister… it’s a festival… The clowns decide to cut websites, without any legal process anymore. They just don’t care. It’s the Fuck You Policy.
And It can change on a daily basis, like they change underwear. Censored on monday, allowed on tuesday, play it again Sam. Why ? How ? It’s a total black box. And the rethoric is getting ugglier : “national security”, “lese majeste”, you name it.
According to their new obsession, the thai national security was probably endangered by Wetpussies.com for instance…
Or by Asia Sentinel. Next step : BBC, CNN, who knows ?
The truth is that the authorities are totally overwhelmed by the growing discontent and opposition. Thai people are not afraid anymore to express their opinions on Internet. And sometimes those opinions are really not politically correct… So the government panicks. And by doing so, it accumulate mistakes, over mistakes.
Because more stupid and dirty censorship excites the opposition, fuels the anger. It’s an old golden rule.
Anyway, we would like to know what our dashing Prime Minister Abhisit (you remember the democracy lover, the partisan of the rule of law blablabla) does think about this story ? Does he agree or not ?
More seriously : Thailand is on a dangerous path. And I’m not sure It can be changed… before disaster.