FACT blocked! (UPDATE-How to unblock your website in Thailand)
February 25, 2010
[CJ Hinke of FACT comments: Just after we posted FACT’s No Shirts Declaration and commented on the blocking of Absolutely Bangkok, and now the blocking of Thai Crisis and Le Monde (as in, MICT blocks The World!). FACT signer John Francis Lee reports that FACT is blocked at TOT as of February 24. Go figure. This likely means the other ISPs will follow so we politely requested unblocking to MICT and TOT. It would appear FACT was only blocked at TOT with a transparent redirect to MICT.
This has given us good a good opportunity to update MICT’s phone numbers below for when you need them! Looks like FACT was unblocked within just a few hours—we want to see the court order or…we’ll see them in court. The key is never let them get away with this shit! Hear me, LiberalThai??? They must be getting edgy before Thaksin’s day in court!]
How to unblock your website in Thailand
We have never before been privy to the mechanism of censorship in Thailand. If your website is blocked, here are some steps to follow.
Chances are, your website has been blocked by order of the Royal Thai Police High-Tech Crimes Centre. First contact HTCC’s chief, Yanaphon Yungyuen 02-913-6699 <firstname.lastname@example.org> and <email@example.com>. Your primary questions here are when and why your site was blocked.
The order to block a website then passes to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology’s IT Regulation Bureau. The Bureau’s chief is Aree Jivorarak 02-141-6950 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Aree actually sends the blocklists to the ISPs.
Under the requirements of the Computer Crimes Act 2007, there must be a court order to block a website, unless government has declared martial law or is under the provisions of an emergency decree issued by the prime minister. Therefore, you may request a copy of this court order and the reasons for blocking. Court orders must be public. Be polite but firm. Remember, these are civil servants and you pay for their kids’ school and wife’s hair perm–you are the boss here.
If Khun Aree is unresponsive, his superior is Deputy Permanent Secretary Angsuman Sunarai <email@example.com> 02-399-1425. If the deputy permanent secretary does not offer you satisfaction, his superior at MICT is Su Lo-utai, Permanent Secretary 02-141-6644 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. If you still have no success with the permanent secretary, you must appeal directly to the ICT Minister, Ranongruk Suwanachee <email@example.com> tel. 02-141-6602.
The Ministry also has a handy complaint form for you to fill out: http://www.mict.go.th/main.php?filename=index_complaint and MICT’s Call Centre number is 02-141-6747. No more specific numbers are listed on MICT’s official website but their switchboard will provide you up-to-date numbers.
Internet censorship is only made possible with the cooperation of Thailand’s more than 100 ISPs. Your business is important to your ISP. Remember that many of the ISPs are publicly traded companies on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET); some are even subsidiaries of foreign companies trading on international stock exchanges. They will be inclined toward not offending their shareholders if you start to make a fuss. Use this as leverage when dealing with them. You only need buy a single share to be a shareholder; this is your ticket to ISPs’ annual general meetings to fight censorship policy. Private companies are also more easily sued for damages than government.
Always talk to the top person, someone who is capable of making decisions. CEOs and executive vice-presidents. Hassling office workers makes them feel bad because they can’t help, are afraid of losing their jobs, and a waste of your time. you pay these people’s salaries with your custom so remember who is in charge. Use these phone calls for patient education and consciousness-raising.
You will notice that some of the ISP censors are mobile telephone services, which provide access to GPRS and WiFi. Mobile phone companies are even more responsive than ISPs to losing your business.
Every ISP also has a helpdesk or other phone contact for technical support. Open a complaint with them, too. If your ISP is a university or other academic institution, call its computer centre and talk to the administrators.
Follows a list of the contacts MICT uses at each ISP to effect blocking. Your ISP should have a copy of the court order blocking your website to ensure it is acting legally, know the reasons for the block, and be able to tell you the exact date and time of MICT’s order and the precise date and time the ISP blocked.
101 Global Co. Ltd. <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
BB Broadband Co. Ltd. [Beenet Broadband Internet] <email@example.com>;
CAT Telecom (CAT Public Co. Ltd., CAT Internet Data Center) “kittipong m” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, varin c <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, suttiporn y <firstname.lastname@example.org>, wasan s <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Infonet Thailand <email@example.com>;
Inter University Network [UniNet–are these the people responsible for the censorship at Kasetsart University, Mahidol University and others?] <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
ISP-Thailand (Internet Solution & Service Provider Co. Ltd.) <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, admin issp <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <EAK@ISP-THAILAND.COM>;
Jasmine International Net [JI-net] (Jasmine International Public Co. Ltd.) <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, duangjai s <firstname.lastname@example.org>, jirawan c <email@example.com>, Nongluck p <Nongluck.firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>;
KSC Commercial Internet <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Otaro Internet [you may remember they were the first company to delete the website of Same Sky Books/Fah Diew Kan] <email@example.com>;
SIPphone Unlimited Communication <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Telephone Organisation of Thailand [TOT] Public Co. Ltd. (TOT ISP, TOT International Gateway) <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, sittiraj tot <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Total Access [DTAC] <Parinyar@dtac.co.th>;
TT&T Public Co. Ltd. [Maxnet] narits ss <email@example.com>, ekkarachu ss <firstname.lastname@example.org>, surachaiji ss <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, issn ss <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Upload Today, True Corporation Public Co. Ltd. <email@example.com>,
World Internetwork Co. Ltd. [INTERNET Thai] <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Be patient–jai yen yen! But be persistent. Expect this process to take some time.
FIGHT BACK! Take back the power! Freedom NOW!
Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)