Khaosod reports that the military junta has approved 5 billion baht to establish its single gateway.
This will allow it to better control and censor, and if the Chinese model is anything to go by, to more efficiently hunt down and jail regime opponents.
The junta “has promoted as an economic measure to position Thailand as the “digital hub” of the ASEAN community” but everyone knows the real intent is to shutdown all content that the royalist regime considers as lese majeste. This is especially important for the regime as Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn is not especially popular and he is moving ever closer to succession.
Khaosod reports that the “move was immediately criticized by internet rights group Citizen Against Single Gateway as disingenuous, with members suspecting all the money would go toward achieving the junta’s goal of gaining control over the online world.”
There’s also a question of cost. Some reportedly think that 5 billion baht is to little for a single gateway. Yet this project that is a part of a bigger deal worth 20 billion baht, which is closer to the estimates of the first efforts by the Chinese and where the control of the internet has proceeded through several stages.