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Thailand Lifts Ban on YouTube after Deal

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posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 10:13 PM
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Thailand Lifts Ban on YouTube after Deal


www.nationmultimedia.com

The government yesterday lifted its ban on the YouTube website after the site's management agreed to block any video clips deemed offensive to Thai people or those that violate Thai law.

Information and Com-munications Technology Minister Sitthichai Pookai-yaudom said local Internet surfers would now be able to access the YouTube site, which has been banned since April 3.

This follows an agreement between the Ministry of ICT and YouTube that the site would curb any clips which have contents considered an affront to Thai people or those that violate the Kingdom's laws.
(visit the link for the full news article)



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posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 10:13 PM
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So far so good. Readers of the Nation express joy again being able to watch videos.

Well, my provider haven't opened yet. I'm patiently waiting.

Four month this rediculous row took. Of Thai selfglorification, of taken themselves so serious, that it is out of any context for Westerners to comprehend.

Let me shortly remind you the cause of the row was a video deemed offending to Thai monarchy. The Lese Majestice law is the most serious act in the Kingdom.

That law has been around always. A rather new one is the Computer Crime Act. Like many laws of the country this one too is enforced in secret.

From today's The Nation


The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister yesterday denied any knowledge of two Thais being arrested under the new Computer Crime Act for posting offensive comments about the monarchy.Published on 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 Computer Crime Act, proposed by the ICT Ministry, took effect recently and allows police 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.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Slightly off topic, but connected.

Following a farangs view from The Nation's blog. A real good read.


Still, nobody has come out looking good. The MICT and the entire junta have exposed their hypocritical and outmoded way of thinking. The junta are so used to censoring and intimidating anyone who disagrees with their view, they had no method of communication or debate with an agency they could not control.

And while youtube is the most prominent example, it is far from isolated. MICT (or rather now "voluntary" censorship by ISP's) is huge. Web sites can be blocked for any number of reasons, all of which are classed as "a threat to national security". Midnight University, a chat forum for Thai students, was closed down after it was critical of the coup in Thailand. Many sites remain blocked and others are falling victim to the censors each day.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


More than 30.000 websites are said to be blocked in Thailand.


www.nationmultimedia.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 04:55 AM
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Here is the report from Finacial Times mentioning the arrests under the Computer Crime Act

In recent weeks, authorities have used a new law to arrest two Thais for what were deemed particularly offensive comments about the monarchy on internet chatrooms, a senior Thai official told the FT.

But Michael Montesano, a National University of Singapore professor of south-east Asian studies, said old taboos were gradually being broken. "In terms of lèse-majesté, there has been slow but clear movement towards more open discussion of the monarchy's role in politics in the media in Thailand," he said.

"References in Bangkok's English language press to 'royalist forces' and 'royalist perspectives' are becoming common," Mr Montesano said. "This is to say nothing of the often shrill discussion of the monarchy on Thai-language web-boards."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:09 AM
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I'd be more worried about who's taking over when King Bhumiphol dies.
His son is completely mad, I only hope they can bypass him and let Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn take over.
She is an incredibly nice lady and certainly is more in tune with the Thai People than Maha Vajiralongkorn.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:13 AM
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Wonderful news!

I'd comment further but I ws only recently aware of this issue. I'm rather locked down with other projects, and haven't had the time to relish in matters outside of my local community.

Wonderful to hear.

Great thread!



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:24 AM
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This is in reply to Chorlton's post above (button dont work)

^^^ I can only fully agree ^^^

But... from were I am posting it is off limits to discuss. Note the part about MICT'S censoring the net.

I'll like this discission board to stay open in Thailand.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:45 PM
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Any thoughts on the way Google conducts to please various regimes around the world?

I'm not only thinking the present row where they design software for the Thai government to meet their needs of censoring. I'm also thinking about how they helped the Chinese to filter out dissidents (and possibly track them). Cisco system did unheard custumizations to their search engines to meet the needs of Beijing.

Is it OK for companies to help subdue expressions of freedom, the very same principles the companies themselves are build on?



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 05:31 AM
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Let me say it at once: I stay in Thailand and my connection are still not able to connect to YouTube.

I suspect the reason is it's a GPRS modem I use, not easily traceable or connected to an address of residency.

Got to call my provider one of these days. Kind of a hassle you know, they speak bad English and I have be polite with my inquiry. But I want an explanation.

Today The Nation has this on the missing webmasters first reported by Financial Times.



Net surfers are worried about Phraya Phichai as no one has been able to contact him since late last month when a rumour spread that he had been arrested. Many posted comments on www.prachatai.com, a site for alternative news, doubting that he might be one of the two people arrested under the new Computer Crime Act as reported by the Financial Times.

[...]

The unclear information about the arrests and the disappearance of Phraya Phichai has created an uneasy atmosphere. Some net surfers were worried about being lured by police to post offensive comments against the monarchy, and some said Phraya Phichai was on line again recently.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



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