The cost of internet censorship

1 01 2012

PPT missed this article on the cost of internet censorship a couple of weeks ago, and we are thankful to Freedom Against Censorship Thailand for pointing it out. (While at FACT, we also recommend FACT’s 2011 state of censorship report.)

In The Nation, Kavi Chongkittavorn has an opinion piece where he says that “Every single day, the government is spending almost Bt1.5 million to block undesirable websites and close down web content.” Of course, almost all of these are sites deemed by authorities to be anti-monarchy. That’s about 43 baht for every man, woman and child in Thailand per day. It is more than 500 million baht per year.

That might seem like a lot, but PPT guesses it is just the tip of the censorship iceberg. We’d be prepared to bet that the total cost is double and triple this. After all, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung alone wants 400 million baht for his work to stamp out anti-monarchism. Then think of all the taxpayer funds the military has paid out to censor.

If readers then add in all of the positive propaganda paid out promoting the monarchy to an increasingly skeptical public, then the cost of protecting and promoting the monarchy is now enormous.




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