FACT exclusive: Govt blocks Prachatai, Same Sky plus 34 ‘Red’ websites

April 8, 2010

Prachatai gone, with scores of Redshirt websites

Is FACT next? No court order necessary.

UPDATE--Prachatai English is back at http://www.prachatai.org. ประชาไทฉบับภาษาไทยกลับขึ้นมาที่นี้.  Also http://www.facebook.com/Prachatai. Let’s see what govt’s responce will be.

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) condemns the heavy-handed censorship of citizen journalism under the emergency decree.

Thailand’s premier independent news portal, Prachatai.com, appears to be the first casualty of the Thai government’s emergency decree prohibiting political activities.

There have been at least eight states of emergency decreed by government over the past two years, during one of which in April 2009, FACT’s website was blocked.

However, this is the first time Prachatai has been blocked. Users attempting to reach Prachatai or Prachatai English instead receive a browser error or a server error screen. Such redirects are the primary method MICT uses to confuse the public rather than taking responsibility for its censorship.

The plot gets thicker. Unlike other websites blocked in Thailand, Prachatai also cannot be reached by using the typical circumvention techniques of anonymous proxy servers or VPNs overseas. How was govt able to accomplish the complete deletion of Prachatai from the Internet?

This flagrant violation of our Constitutional guarantees to a free media has caused much speculation and rumours.

It has been confirmed by Prachatai webmaster, Chiranuch Premchaiporn, that Prachatai and 35 other websites thought by govt to support the Redshirt movement have been blocked under the government’s emergency decree by order of Deputy Prime Minister in charge of national security, Suthep Thaugsaban. Of course, all normal rule of law is suspended under the decree which means government does not need to follow the requirements of the Computer Crimes act 2007 in seeking a court order for censorship. Matichon reports that as of 11am prachatai.com, sameskybooks.org, weareallhuman.net, and norporchorusa.com all carry the message that “This website has been blocked”. by ICT & TOT”. [FACT: Has the Nor Por Chor webmaster, Thanthawuthi Thaweewarodom, charged under the lèse majesté provisions of the Computer Crimes Act 2007 last week been bailed? For lèse majesté allegations using the Criminal Code, he would likely not receive bail  but he certainly should under the CCA which carries a significantly lighter penalty.]

Up until now, we have thought government has been sensibly restrained in its censorship during the Redshirt demonstrations. However, adding the Emergency Decree gives government a shiny, new toy to play with. It seems, in Thailand, history is not only doomed to repeat itself but government dooms itself by repeating its past mistakes. Political Prisoners in Thailand reports that “It isn’t just Prachatai- it’s People Channel, all live internet streams from the protest, and every single pro-Red community radio station in Bangkok…”

It is expected Prachatai will reopen at another location, playing the government’s usual game of cat-and-mouse. We’ll keep you updated.

Suthep writes at Thai E-News that the  Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) [FACT: Never heard of them before!], the organization set up to monitor ‘the situation’, deems these 36 websites [FACT: Is that all???] disseminate news that may be a danger to national security. [FACT quotes and emphasis.] Follows the Gor Hor 0407.45/1 order to MICT by the Deputy PM to block 36 websites. Prachatai is #8, Same Sky (Fah Diew Kan is #34.

(Thanks to Bangkok Pundit)

1) http://gurakdang.com
2) http://morporchorusa2.com
3) http://www.uddthailand.com
4) http://www.peoplechannel.com
5) http://www.newskythailand.us
6) http://www.thaipeoplevoice.org
7) http://www.thaipeoplevoice.net
8) http://www.prachatai.com
9) http://www.thaipeoplevoice.com
10) http://www.redthai.org
11) http://www.redthai.net
12) http://rednon.org
13) http://sunshine.redthai.org
14) http://www.konthaiuk.com
15) http://www.redshirttv.com
16) http://isan.redthai.org
17) http://www.uddthailand.net
18) http://www.youtube.com/uddto/day
19) http://twitter.com/uddtoday
20) http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=344691628328
21) http://young-udd.hi5.com/friend/p352428162-Young+UDD_Thailandัhtml
22) http://groups.google.com/group/redthai
23) http://www.uddthailand.biz
24) http://www.uddthailand.org
25) http://norporchorusa.com
26) http://www.newskythailand.com
27) http://www.newskythailand.net
28) http://www.newskythailand.org
29) http://www.d-dek.org
30) http://www.thaipeoplevoice.org/index.html
31) http://xat.com/uddtoday
32) http://www.uddthailand.info
33) http://uddtoday.ning.com
34) http://www.sameskybooks.org
35) http://www.weareallhuman.net
36) http://www.sanamluang.tv

4 Responses to “FACT exclusive: Govt blocks Prachatai, Same Sky plus 34 ‘Red’ websites”

  1. Prachatai is no longer being blocked. The “It works!” is being delivered by the apache webserver that used to serve prachatai.

    Initially the government blocked prachatai… now they have “disappeared” it.

    Prachatai has been Whacked by the Capo.

    Whether they cracked it or “ordered” its hosting service to destroy its files in unknown. But they’ve been whacked.

    This is a Totalitarian Government. We are living behind the “Thai iron curtain”.

    The Red Shirts are the only people in Thailand opposing the fascist putsch in charge. Everyone else is meekly going along… to get along. From Abhisit on down…

    We have been under military dictatorship since 19 September 2006, and we will be for the foreseeable future if the Red Shirts, the only people presently standing up for popular sovereignty, are unsuccessful in their call for elections.

    Calling for elections. My god you’d think they were calling for… what? I cannot imagine.

    The people are demanding elections! Give them elections!

    It’s that easy. Elections are perfectly normal events in democratic countries.

    Thailand used to claim to be a democratic country. No more.

    Thailand is now a Totalitaian Regime.

  2. crisismaven Says:

    It’s one thing to order curfews to avoid the loss of life or prevent injuries and cool things down but quite another to censor free speech. The little credit a beleaguered government may have left is always lost if by censorship it admits it does indeed have things to hide!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    It is not only Prachatai, but also People Channel TV is back. Thousands of reds visited the Thaicom station at Lat Lum Keow area today (9 April) demanding the return of People Channel TV which Abhisit and his cohorts ordered closure.

    After perfunctory “clash” with soldiers firing tear gas and water cannons, it turned out that these soldiers are “watermelon” (teng mo), namely green outside but red inside, so they decided they didn’t want to make life difficult for the red visitors and agreed to retreat and have the reds have their way.
    It was so funny that I could not believe it when I heard the news from the temporary People Channel TV at http://www.thaienews.blogspot.com/

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