Updated: Trampling remaining freedoms III

8 08 2021

The Bangkok Post reports some good news: “The Civil Court on Friday ruled in favour of the media by issuing an injunction suspending Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s regulation restricting freedom of speech and threatening internet censorship.”

There are few good news stories from the judiciary, but this one seems to be in that category, with the court ruling that the new rules “went against the law,” and even issuing an “English-language announcement of its decision.”

It is quoted:

Considering that Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E. 2548 (2005) (No. 29) provides Prime Minister no authorization to suspend internet services provision, Article 2 of the Regulation authorizing the suspension of internet services provision against the Internet Protocol address (IP address) of which the user has disseminated the information not compatible with the Regulation is in contrary to the law….

It is in the view of the Court that, considering the existence of several legal instruments establishing the measures concerning illegal dissemination of information and the government’s capability to educate people, develop a public better understanding and examine false information, the suspension of the enforcement of such Regulation does not pose any obstacle to public administration in emergency situations and public interest….

Update: The bad news is also in the Bangkok Post. It reports that “Thailand has moved into the third-lowest tier in the world for internet freedom, down two steps from the year before, according to Comparitech, a website that focuses on improving cybersecurity and privacy online.”

That rating says that Thailand is a massive “73% restricted,” meaning it ranks on a par with dictatorships and monarchies like “Belarus, Qatar, Syria, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates…”.

Most of Thailand’s score was attributed to the royalist-inspired banning of Pornhub. This is, however, just one element of a broad effort to limit non-official information available on the monarchy.


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