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.