YouTube censorship Thailand: A Second Open Letter to Google.com
April 11, 2007
Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO &
Board of Directors
1600 Amphitheater Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
On November 16, 2006, Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) wrote you of our concerns that Google would cooperate with Internet censorship here. You replied on November 17 that Google had no intention of assisting the Thai government in its illegal Web blocking.
And now we have YouTube. YouTube is a fine example of the kind of free expression and public participation possible because of the very nature of an unfettered Internet.
The press in Thailand has reported that the entire YouTube site was blocked because the Thai government couldn’t figure out how to block the single video which The Official Censor of the Military Coup found so offensive.
Google, admirably, refused to delete the video and comply with the Thai censors.
However, FACT now understands that Google plans to are help the Thai government by teaching them how to block individual videos on YouTube.
Censorship, Friends, is a slippery slope. In every instance, the censors become drunk with their own power and never know where to stop.
We feel the most responsible sort of censorship occurs at home: Don’t like it, don’t look.
If you assist such censorship, Google will have compromised the integrity of your reply to FACT in November.
We think censorship in Thailand, where all Web blocking is done illegally and in secret, conceals a hidden political agenda. FACT feels the ICT ministry will block many videos dissenting from the view of the Thai government such as videos of the insurgent situation in our Muslim South, commentary from our deposed prime minister, the hundreds of tortured and disappeared, the thousands of extrajudicial killings.
When government acts to excess (45,000+ websites blocked), it is up to all thinking people to oppose them.
Please don’t facilitate Thai censorship. “Do no evil.”