Even more money proposed for “protecting” the monarchy

21 06 2015

In a recent report at Prachatai, Thailand’s unusually wealthy businessman-police chief, Police General Somyos Pumpanmuang, has declared that his department has “proposed a plan to reduce multiple internet gateways to a single one in order to increase the efficiency of the state’s surveillance system.”

He argued that with a “single gateway system, it will be much easier for the state authorities to monitor, filter, delete, and intercept information on the internet that could be deemed inappropriate.”

Somyos is using general terminology, but we know that the vast majority of internet URLs that are blocked the state relate to content that authorities consider anti-monarchy. Indeed, the “protection” of the monarchy has been deemed a matter of “national security.”money_down_toilet 2

The estimated cost of creating an increasingly China-like Great Wall of internet repression and suppression for the monarchy is about US$30 million. Add that proposed expenditure to the roughly $350-400 million already spent on the monarchy by Thailand’s taxpayers and the hidden costs of, for example, running down and jailing a couple of dozen of people disliked by the prince, and the monarchy is costly indeed.



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