Further updated: WikiLeaks blocked in Thailand

18 08 2010

The Bangkok Post reports (taking the story from AP) that the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has used the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime’s  emergency powers to block access to the WikiLeaks. The grounds for blocking the site are “national security.” As is well-known, WikiLeaks “is a multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public.” WikiLeaks came to international attention a few weeks ago when it released thousands of US administration documents on the military conflict in Afghanistan.

As everyone knows, when the MICT or the broader regime talks “national security,” then they are making a claim about the monarchy. However, the report makes it appear as though the blocking – which, in fact, began haphazardly about a month ago, when WikiLeaks came to prominence – is somehow related to political unrest: “The order came from the government unit set up to oversee the response to political unrest that rocked Bangkok earlier this year…”. It was stated that: “Access to this website has been temporarily suspended under the 2005 emergency decree…”.

But then the report goes on to mention the extensive blocking of pages “mainly for insulting the monarchy, a serious crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail. A special cyber crime agency has also been set up to stamp out online criticism of the royal family.”

A quick survey of WikiLeaks material on Thailand shows the following:

As can be seen, there is a bunch of material readily available. Probably the item that has caused the blocking is the first one, on the prince, his wife and the dog, Fu Fu, but that has already been very widely circulated in Thailand and is well-known now after several years of posting and re-posting.

Update 1: Some readers tell us that WikiLeaks is still accessible via some ISPs in Thailand. As noted above, the blocking has been somewhat haphazard.

Update 2: Readers might find the story by John Pilger on WikiLeaks of some interest. It isn’t on Thailand, but a timely article.

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5 responses

18 08 2010
Tweets that mention WikiLeaks blocked in Thailand « Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NEWSpace, อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร. อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร said: WikiLeaks blocked in Thailand: The Bangkok Post reports that the Ministry of Information and Communication Techno… http://bit.ly/cG87zO [...]

18 08 2010
Updated: Abhisit and media unfreedom « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] In his interview, Abhisit comments that authorities are “mindful” that “there could be abuses” in deciding what to block and in the use of emergency powers. As he has falsely claimed previously, he said “we’ll put things right” if there are problems. When he’s said this previously the result has usually been heavier censorship. [Update: As is now usual, when Abhisit speaks of "freedom," the next step is a further attempt to extend unfreedom - see here.] [...]

20 08 2010
WikiLeaks responds « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[...] Further to PPT’s post on the on-again/off-again blocking of WikiLeaks, there is now a new site Thaileaks. It [...]

25 09 2010
PM lies about media freedom-PPT « FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

[...] In his interview, Abhisit comments that authorities are “mindful” that “there could be abuses” in deciding what to block and in the use of emergency powers. As he has falsely claimed previously, he said “we’ll put things right” if there are problems. When he’s said this previously the result has usually been heavier censorship. [Update: As is now usual, when Abhisit speaks of "freedom," the next step is a further attempt to extend unfreedom - see here.] [...]

25 09 2010



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