Websites, censorship : “We just cited the criminal laws to ban them”

Bangkok Pundit has an astonishing piece about an interview given by the new IT Minister to a thai radio, after some websites were banned.

Scary stuff.

Here are some quotes, but you should read the whole article.

Bottom line : the thai authorities spent a lot of time to design special “security laws” that give them huge power. But actually, it’s for the show. They don’t respect the laws. They just “cite” them in order to obtain immediate and full “cooperation” from thai websites …

For instance, to ban a website the government must seek an authorization from a judge… That seems fair. But actually this story is good for the stupid foreigners. Good for the show.

A real thai politician has another -and efficient- method : he just takes his phone, to threaten people with legal action.

By the way, the interview is riddled with errors and blatant lies.

Even if you take in account some translation issues, again, what the Minister dares to say in public is really scary and show the poor, very poor level of the people currently in control (to be fair, it was exactly the same with the Junta).

China, Burma, Thailand… and actually most of asian countries : they don’t give a rat shit about freedom of expression and other evil western ideas.

All those gentlemen (in uniform or not), with different cultures and languages, share exactly the same brain pattern : “you are free to think… like me” along with what I call the “fuckyoupolicy”. You dare to disagree ? “Fuck you” is their common answer.

With a smile of course

We blocked both messages and images. In fact, we have been doing this for a week. In most cases, it is difficult since the webhosting service providers are located outside the country.[…]

During the APEC ministerial meeting in Bangkok, I talked with their Minister, and then Mr. David Cross, a diplomat from Washington. They knew the administration of Google and understood Thai culture. They knew well how we felt. After that contact, the content disappeared.[…]

No, no longer on either Google or YouTube, I mean they are not available in Thailand. But of course, they cannot deny the access to the content worldwide.[…]

There are more than 200 internet service providers in Thailand, and we, and CAT know them all. So if they are in Thailand, we can deal with them because we have the law. I have to thank Khun Patchara and Khun Wisuth for reading out the penalty, they deserve it if they are not loyal.[…]

Yes, I just ordered them closed. Of course, we understand that it is inappropriate to use the term, and it would be more pleasing to say we asked for cooperation. But they know what “asking for cooperation” means.[…]

We just cited the criminal laws to ban them.

They have content about the monarchy. Thai people cannot bear this, and no one can. Not just me or my officers. Even the former ICT Minister, Sitthichai Pokaiyaudom, once he was informed about this, he asked me to ban them. And he would encourage folk who have the knowledge to hack the websites. Everyone is helping us. Even operators of internet services who have the knowledge in hacking also help us. […]

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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