Pressuring Google

30 01 2016

There’s been some ongoing discussions between Google and the military dictatorship.

A couple of days ago at Khaosod it is reported that, according to a leaked but apparently official document, “Thai officials [have] asked Google to make an exception and remove content without a court order…”.

In what was described as a second meeting between Google’s legal representatives and a junta censorship committee on 22 January, “Google Vice President General Counsel Matt Sucherman and the self-described ‘Media Reform Committee’.”

Over the past few years, Google reports that it has rejected requests from the Thailand government for information on user accounts and so on.

The document was “leaked by Thai net freedom advocates hours before Anonymous-aligned hacktivists shut down 20 Department of Corrections websites Thursday morning.”

The document reveals that the “Media Reform Committee,” dominated by military officers, requested that “Google to immediately take down content the military government deems to be illegal without asking for a court order.” It states: “We would like Google to expedite the process of website removal once it is requested by qualified authorities to save from the possible damage of time, as it will not correct the situation if we wait for the court process…”.

Google responded that “it would not make exception to its worldwide policy for Thailand…”.

Interestingly, the junta’s committee encouraged/threatened Google (we guess it depends on context, but we’d go with threat as the military acts in Mafia-like ways). Like a Don, the committee said Google should “think about the relationship between Thailand and the United States.” And in the best of Mafia traditions, held out a reward; it offered to help Google’s business in Thailand.


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6 responses

1 02 2016
Online censorship pressure | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] couple of days ago PPT posted on the military regime pressuring Google to censor without a court order. When we look back at that post we realize that we neglected to […]

1 02 2016
Online censorship pressure | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] couple of days ago PPT posted on the military regime pressuring Google to censor without a court order. When we look back at that post we realize that we neglected to […]

2 02 2016
They really are as stupid as this | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] first Bangkok Post story is a follow-up to earlier posts we had on internet censorship (here and here). Police Major-General Pisit Pao-in, chairman of a sub-committee on online media […]

2 02 2016
They really are as stupid as this | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] first Bangkok Post story is a follow-up to earlier posts we had on internet censorship (here and here). Police Major-General Pisit Pao-in, chairman of a sub-committee on online media […]

14 02 2016
Getting Line in line | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] dictatorship trying to convince international social media companies to help it censor Thais (here and here). The junta bleated about lese majeste and national security (the difference between the […]

14 02 2016
Getting Line in line | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] dictatorship trying to convince international social media companies to help it censor Thais (here and here). The junta bleated about lese majeste and national security (the difference between the […]