Thailand blocks 10,700 more websites, total 65,000-Bangkok Post

April 11, 2010

[FACT comments: The new cebnsorship means that Thailand blocks nearly 65,000 websites. So we have a few questions for the ICT minister. Why are your blocklists not made public with the reasons for each block? Did you get court orders to block these 10,000 more websites as required by the Computer Crimes Act prior to martial law? Why won’t you make these court orders public?]

Newly empowered ICT set to ban ‘provocative’ sites

Komsan Tortermvasana and Srisamorn Phoosuphanusorn

Bangkok Post: April 9, 2010

    The Information and Communication Technology Ministry is warning that all websites linked with the red shirt demonstrations and those encouraging people to join tomorrow’s mass rally will be blocked immediately.

    ICT permanent secretary Sue Lor-uthai yesterday said the warning came after the Centre for Public Administration in Emergency Situations authorised his ministry to tackle websites and Twitter users considered provocative and inciting disunity.

    Mr Sue said the authority given to the ministry would help efforts to ban websites quickly rather than wait for a court order.

    Mr Sue said almost 10,000 website links had been blocked since March when the red shirt demonstration began.

    Bans on another 700 links were awaiting court approval, he said.

    The new authority allows the ministry to ban websites immediately, particularly those linked to the red shirt rallies, and act against Twitter users deemed to have disturbed peace and order in the country.

    Meanwhile, Thaicom Plc, the country’s sole satellite service provider, said the government’s blocking of the red shirts’ People Channel television station (PTV) had severely damaged its international reputation.

    The company said foreign customers using the same transponder as PTV were threatening to sue Thaicom for their losses.

    An executive expressed concern that interference with the station’s signals could damage the satellite’s transponder.

    “Despite the fact that signal jamming violates our contract and causes severe damage to our reputation, we must follow the order,” the executive said.

    PTV station uses one of the 25 C-band transponders of the Thaicom 5 satellite, leased from a company in Israel, for its broadcasts. Customers with C-band satellite dishes were able to receive the red shirts’ broadcasts.

    The red shirts also use a Ku band transponder on the NSS6 satellite of a Netherlands-based firm, with an uplink facility in Hong Kong. Customers with Ku band satellite dishes, like Thaicom’s DTV and the yellow shirts’ ASTV satellite dishes, can also receive the transmissions.

    The executive said Thaicom could not directly shut down PTV because the station broadcasts via the Israeli firm’s uplink facility. Thaicom could only block the signal being beamed from the Thaicom 5 satellite by jamming the C-band frequency.

    The signal jamming not only caused PTV to be taken off the air but also interrupted five other channels on the same transponder.

    The satellite’s transponder was also damaged, the source said.

    The Israeli firm eventually decided to shut down PTV to avoid other channels being affected.

    2 Responses to “Thailand blocks 10,700 more websites, total 65,000-Bangkok Post”

    1. […] – – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand asks if the government secured a court order before it blocked the “seditious” websites The new cebnsorship means that Thailand blocks […]

    2. […] – – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand asks if the government secured a court order before it blocked the “seditious” […]

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