FACT wants answers from MICT

February 9, 2007

[ภาษาไทย/Thai: ‘แฟค’ ต้องการคำตอบจาก ‘ไอซีที’]

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

9th February 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FACT WANTS ANSWERS FROM MICT

Dateline: Bangkok

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) today formally submitted an official list of 20 questions to ICT Minister, Dr. Sitthichai Pokaiudom, Official Censor of the Military Coup, signed by 257 activists and 56 international organisations opposing Internet censorship from 19 countries.

Under the provisions of Thailand’s Official Information Act, government agencies must provide information formally requested from the public within 30 days; the only reasons for refusal are rare cases of national security or law enforcement.

Failure to respond in full to such requests provides that matters can proceed to a hearing before the Official Information Commission, an enforcement body for government transparency established under the 1997 “People’s” Constitution.

MICT currently blocks 13,435 websites. This Ministry was established under the deposed Thaksin government in 2003 specifically to censor the Internet. However, the MICT blocklist and all other information relating to censorship is covered by a veil of secrecy. Website censorship has increased by more than 500% since the September 19 military coup d’etat.

FACT wants to know what laws allow Internet censorship in Thailand,
because we know there are none–Web censorship is being done illegally;

FACT wants to know what criteria MICT uses to censor websites,
because we know Internet censorship is being done in a completely arbitrary manner;

FACT wants to know what process MICT follows to block websites,
because we know there are no specific procedures;

FACT wants to know which precise legal definitions MICT considers to censor websites,
because we know these applications of law have never been defined;

FACT believes the Thai taxpayer has a right to know what goes on at every level of government.
FACT believes MICT’s blocklist should be made public.

MICT has long operated as a law unto itself, veiled by secrecy. Internet censorship in Thailand is done without public knowledge, participation, oversight or scrutiny.

On November 15, 2006, FACT petitioned the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand to examine Internet censorship. Despite numerous requests from the Commission, MICT has consistently refused to cooperate in its investigation.

It’s high time to lift up the rock under which the bureaucrats at this maverick agency have long been hiding.

It’s time to end censorship in Thailand and pursue democracy.

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand
Website: http://facthai.wordpress.com/

NO CENSORSHIP!
NO COMPROMISE!

Contact details:
CJ Hinke <facthai@gmail.com> Tel. 07-976-1880 (English)
Supinya Klangnarong <freemediafreepeople@gmail.com> Tel. 086-788-9322 (Thai)

6 Responses to “FACT wants answers from MICT”

  1. facthai Says:

    from Patiwat Panurach–thank you!

    It should also be noted that the Official Information Act was an organic law whose existence was provisioned by the 1997 Constitution itself. As such, the law has constitutional scope and has constitutional force. Of course, one of the very first acts of the junta was to abrogate the 1997 Constitution and replace it with that travesty that the King signed off on.

    The rascals among us would claim that the constitution had already been abrogated in principle, if not in practice, by the actions of the Thaksin government, and thus the actions of the junta really didn’t make any difference. But regardless, you pull out the rug, and the furniture also comes crashing down. I don’t believe the junta has any legal obligation to answer to your demands.

  2. facthai Says:

    Thank you, Khun Patiwat. Precisely right–UNTIL IT IS REPLACED, the 1997 Constitution is the foundation of law in Thailand. This is why the Official Information Act is so powerful a people’s tool.

    If MICT trump up an excuse and refuse to answer our questions, we WIN–we’ve shown them for the snakes we know them to be! If MICT answers our questions, we WIN–now the public has the information which will arm us to fight it! Either way, we WIN!

  3. facthai Says:

    A little more thought to that. I don’t think we should be so quick to blame Nai Luang or his many advisors. HM walks a razor’s edge and does it well. WE THE PEOPLE have to take responsibility for ourselves. If we don’t like what govt is doing, we will fight!

    The 1997 Constitution was a terrific starting point. But civil liberties and human rights need to be enshrined as the foundation of law in Thailand.

    The CDC has called for public submissions to the draft Constitution. I’ve submitted mine. Have you???

    (Maybe [hopefully] a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change history; the odds beat the lottery: Dr. Noranit Setabutr )


  4. [...] February 9th, 2007 [In English/ภาษาอังกฤษ: FACT wants answers from MICT] [...]


  5. [...] 11th, 2007 The Information Request that FACT had submitted to MICT today (9 Feb 2007). 9th February 2007Information RequestMinistry of Information and [...]


  6. [...] royal crown ‘lese majeste’. She insists that she deleted the post when requested by the MICT but they have stated that she should have noticed the post herself. She risks a prison sentence for [...]


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