Censors still busy: An Analysis of MICT’s Secret Blocklist March 12, 2007

March 27, 2007

The complete, secret blocklists of Thailand’s “Official Censor of the Military Coup” are available to ISPs but not to the public at http://www.i-am-thai.com which redirects the page to http://cyberinspector.org/ict/modules/viewisp/login.php.

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) tendered its information request before Ministry of Information and Communication Technology on February 9, 2007, under the provisions of Thailand’s Official Information Act precisely because of such government secrecy. Also of major public concern is by which Thai law does MICT block the Internet.

On March 8, MICT replied to FACT’s request by refusing to answer, citing as grounds issues of national security and law enforcement, two of the escape clauses in the Act. MICT did tell FACT what basis in law the censors use: martial law! Of course, they didn’t mention what law was used before the military coup on September 19, 2006. All MICT really supplied are prurient details of what Thai law courts have ruled to be pornographic.

FACT will submit its formal complaint before the Official Information Commission to force MICT into compliance with transparent and accountable government under the Thai Constitution.Although the actual number of websites blocked by MICT has decreased on March 12 to 10,885 sites, a reduction of nearly 20% from January 11’s blocklist, this does not herald less censorship in Thailand. 10,885 blocked websites in March is still a rise of over 400% from the October 2006 blocklist’s 2,475 sites.

MICT’s January 11 blocklist appeared to be a document prepared in some haste. There was much duplication of websites and dates, categories and corresponding IP addresses or URLs were provided for only 20% of the websites blocked.

MICT’s March 12 blocklist has fixed a great many of these oversights. The deletion of duplicates has resulted in decreased numbers. Nearly all websites are assigned to what appear to be random rather than finite categories, bear IP addresses and are dated quite recently. This blocklist also does not assign separate MICT numbering fields to all blocked sites but relies primarily on its Excel spreadsheet numbering format. This recent dating gives the impression that these websites have all been accessed by the censors and found still to be incompatible with someone’s concepts of Thai society; we use “someone” because MICT won’t tell us who!

All the usual suspects are still with us from prior blocklists, including links to circumvention software and anonymous proxy servers. Pages to major international news sites continue to be blocked.

The major additions are links to Thai translations of portions of the unofficially banned book, The King Never Smiles, by Paul Handley which its publisher, Yale University Press, describes as “an unauthorised interpretive biography” of Thailand’s king, His Majesty King Bhumiphol Adulyadej, all of which have been assigned to Category 9, MICT’s “most dangerous” category.

YouTube links to video clips of deposed Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, are also in evidence as are a number of new anti-coup pages and other pages linking to the Thai government’s handling of the violent crisis in Thailand’s Muslim South. For example, Sanction Thailand, encourages the international boycott of Thai products and tourism because of the coup d’etat. Of course, links to Thai Rak Thai have been censored and some Google images have also been blocked.

However, there are the usual plethora of anomalous sites. This researcher grades the most dangerous of these are California’s Marywood Country Day School, Siam BB Guns and Virtual Dogshit. No blocked blogsites–is that a hint?

Surf for FREEDOM! Use circumvention software and anonymous proxy servers. Unblock ICT!

3 Responses to “Censors still busy: An Analysis of MICT’s Secret Blocklist March 12, 2007”

  1. nadiamode Says:

    เพิ่งจะมาเริ่มเขียนบล็อก ว่าจะปักหลักที่ wordpress เพราะคนไทยเยอะดี รู้สึกอบอุ่น แต่ใช้เน็ททีโอทีเข้าไม่ได้เลย ต้องใช้พร็อกซี่ตลอด สงสัยต้องรอให้พ้นยุคนี้ก่อนถึงจะใช้ได้ตามปกติคงอีกหลายเดือน

    พอพูดถึงเรื่อง youtube ล่าสุดกลับกลายเป็นว่า ict ไปบล๊อค ยิ่งทำให้มีคลิปที่ไม่ดีเผยแพร่มามากกว่าเดิมซะอีก ยิ่งออกทีวีบอกว่าห้ามดู ยิ่งพูดกันเยอะคนก็ยิ่งอยากเข้าไปหา เข้าไปดู

    รู้สึกอึดอัดเรื่องการเซ็นเซอร์มากเลยจะเข้าอันโน้นก้อไม่ได้ อันนี้ก็ไม่ได้ แต่ไม่มีผลกระทบอะไรเพราะใช้โปรแกรมพร็อกซี่ อยากบล๊อคก็บล๊อคไปยิ่งบล๊อคยิ่งโดนด่า

  2. David Says:

    I wonder why they blocked this:

    It’s just an old song, having nothing to do with Thailand.

  3. […] websites in March is still a rise of over 400% from the October 2006 blocklists 2,475 sites. … Censors still busy: An Analysis of MICT’s Secret Blocklist March 12, 2007 FACT – Freedom Against C… __________________ Nan, […]

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