Health rumors a ruse for closing web sites

4 11 2009

Also available as หาเรื่องปิดเว็บไซต์จากข่าวลือเรื่องพระพลานามัย

It is ever clearer that the  Democrat Party-led government is using the royal death and/or health rumors saga as a means to control or close moderate web sites that it feels are not pro-government.

Led by a prime minister who once tried to make people believe he was a political liberal and by a party that should be ashamed to include the word “democrat” in its name, the government has now played its hand.

In Prachatai (4 November 2009: “ICT to close ISPs for allowing offending websites to continue”), the Thai Rath newspaper is cited on a story about the Minister of Information and Communications Technology Ranongruk Suwunchawee, who has now explained that the “Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has told Internet Service Providers to deal with offending websites, saying if they fail to do so, the Ministry will close them.”

Who does the minister mean? It seems that “MICT has contacted the ISPs which provide services to the websites [Prachatai and Fah Diew Kan] and informed them that if they still allow these websites which have had records of being ‘subversive to national security’ to continue, the Ministry will close down those ISPs.” PPT added the emphasis but the names in square brackets are in the Prachatai report.

The rest of the report shows how this crackdown is being manipulated. The Minister explained that it was found that Thiranan Vipuchanun had indeed only posted a translation to the Prachatai webboard. However, Khatha Pachachirayapong, “was found to have posted the ‘inauspicious’ content on many websites, and forwarded it to his stock-brokering friends, of whom at least two people had further forwarded the message.” Apparently the authorities are seeking to use the Computer Crimes Act against these people as well.

This approach to “getting” web sites considered anti-government (translated as “threats to national security”) is confirmed in a Bangkok Post story.

The government and the press is now using this term “inauspicious” to describe the rumors, as if claiming the king is dead is somehow a crime. If it wasn’t so serious and being used as repression, one might be tempted to laugh along with Not the Nation or with Monty Python.

The Abhisit Vejjajiva government is ever more repressive in the name of “national security.” Where does it stop? Where are the defenders of human rights? Why are they allowing the royalist government to get away with such blatant repression?



2 responses

4 11 2009
หาเรื่องปิดเว็บไซต์จากข่าวลือเรื่องพระพลานามัย « Liberal Thai

[…] by chapter 11 Health rumors a ruse for closing web sites November 4, 2009 ที่มา – Political Prisoners in Thailand แปลและเรียบเรียง – แชพเตอร์ […]

5 11 2009

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