The proof that thai authorities are monitoring Internet traffic

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.

6 Responses to “The proof that thai authorities are monitoring Internet traffic”


  1. 1 E. Spitzer 19 February 2010 at 7:28 am

    They also pressure ISP to self censor (unknown whether MICT gives them a list of ‘suggested’ sites to block).

    Your site currently works on True, but redirects to mict.go.th on TOT DSL, also redirected when I was in Krabi.

  2. 2 Networking Guy 19 February 2010 at 11:27 am

    I’d like to post some correction here. I work as a network engineer. By seeing this in your Status Bar doesn’t necessary mean government monitors you.
    My ISP for example filters this page completely and I am redirected to w3.mict.go.th – they use transparent proxy caches to filter sites. Our ISP is not too big and they have tens of Net-Cache machines doing the filtering. All traffic on port 80 (http) is redirected through cluster of machines running every request via black list. These proxies can easily save log files for later analysis. Nobody knows…
    What is more likely is that the page included image from site which your ISP blocked. The image was then redirected to w3.mict.go.th and that’s why you could see this in your browser.
    With today’s technology government can monitor anything going on the network without you even knowing it! You always make sure at least you open your emails and enter passwords over https secured connection. Transparent proxies cannot see inside and this traffic is not filtered.

    I also know a company supplying monitoring appliances here in Thailand. They ship tens of boxes weekly to keep up with demand.

    I am fan of your blog, if you need any networking or website advice, feel free to contact me 😉

  3. 3 ThaiCrisis 19 February 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for those details.

    But the point is : there are not “porn” images on AsiaSentinel.

    Second point : you said it yourself (“this page”, I guess you speak about AsiaSentinel, is “completely filtered”) : this is censorship.

    Third : the query to w3.mict.go.th can not been on any websites (hopefully)… So, is it just a coincidence to see it… while accessing a media that writes articles about Thailand, with some articles that criticise the thai army ?

    I seriously doubt it.

  4. 4 Pricilla 19 February 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I just tried all those interesting sites you mentioned with my industrial sized packet of Kleenex (on special at Makro) at the ready, and I was sorely disappointed as none came up.

    I considered international call phone sex but too expensive, so now I will have to go down to the more politically correct local Karaoke, Beer Bar, Club, A-Go-Go, Soapy Massage, Oil massage, private room Thai massage, Thai style Bar or street side freelancers instead.

    I think this is an insidious plot instigated by the Ministry of Poseidon Massage to keep semen in local venues. Well, the real thing is more fun anyway.

    Might add that the socialists in Australia are introducing an enforced governmental censorship to “protect the public”, seems also that they will not reveal what sites they block…hmmm, more shades of Big Brother and in the West. All governments want to block the Internet, their MSM propaganda is being dodged by people reading blogs like this.

  5. 5 ThaiCrisis 19 February 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Good point : you’re right to remind us that western countries are following the same path.

    You talk about Australia… but I know the case of France… Where they have voted an insane law that allows simple bureaucrats to cut Internet access to someone who download “illegaly” music or movies, after a few letters of warning, blabla.

    Differents means, different paces…. but eventually the same obsession : to control Internet.

  6. 6 tom hoy 20 February 2010 at 1:49 am

    ThaiCrisis, Thanks for drawing attention to this and explaining it. I noticed the same thing a few weeks ago on Feb 3 and sent a message to New Mandala asking if anyone could give me any information. Here it is:

    “I was interested to read the two articles Gregor recommended [these were on Asia Sentinel] in his first comment. They each took about ten minutes to appear and were routed through w3.mict.go.th, the Thai Ministry of ICT’s website.

    They’re not completely banned as they did appear. Does anyone know what might be going on here?”

    This tactic is perhaps even worse than banning websites completely. It makes you feel – rightly or wrongly – that you are under personal surveillance. And if the censors succeed in creating this perception, people will shut up.The censors win.


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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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