Internet Filtering in Thailand



Recent reports have indicated that Thailand is now blocking the websites Thai-insider.com and FM9225.com. ISP’s in Thailand have been filtering for some time, Jeffrey Race wrote about it back in 2004. The government ordered ISP’s to begin blocking a list compiled and hosted by the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT). The target of the filtering was pornography, specifically local pornography but would also target subjects such as “Royal Family, sites that are a threat to security, violent online games, and illegal web sites such as those for online gambling.” There was debate about what exactly to censor and the process appeared to be fairly transparent. But back in May 2004 I wrote:

Despite this open and transparent process at least one unofficial block has been identified. The promise of transparency does not necessarily mean accountability. In this case the web site in question highlights a corruption scandal. Once a national filtering system is in place it governments may be tempted to use it as a tool of political censorship.

It appears that the Government of Thailand is extending its filtering system to blocking for overtly political reasons. Once the system is in place….

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