Bureau of Prevention and Eradication of Computer Crime

Bangkok Pundit: June 17, 2010



The Thai cabinet Tuesday approved the creation of a new cyber crime agency to stamp out online criticism of the revered monarchy.

The government, which has removed tens of thousands of web pages in recent years for insulting the royal family, said the main task of the Bureau of Prevention and Eradication of Computer Crime would be to protect the monarchy.

The monarchy is crucial for Thai national security because it is an institution that unifies the entire nation,” government spokesman Watchara Kanikar said.

Under the kingdom’s strict lese majeste rules, insulting the monarchy or a member of the royal family can result in jail terms of up to 15 years. Anyone can file a lese majeste complaint, and police are duty-bound to investigate it.

This comes after the change of the ICT Ministry too per the Bangkok Post:

A parliamentary showdown caused a cabinet reshuffle caused the end of the career of the best information and technology minister Thailand has had since 2009; farewell Ranongruk Suwunchwee, who transformed the ministry from a mere communications technology bureaucracy into a true Ministry of Internet Censorship of Thailand (MICT); also looking for work will be Ms Rangongruk’s spouse Pairote, who will presumably lose his unofficial but thriving office at the ICT ministry; it will be difficult for new minister and Democrat Party functionary Juti Krairiksh to live up to the standard of the previous censor, but he insisted he was up to the task; within days of taking office, Juti confirmed that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had personally instructed him that monitoring websites was one of the three most important jobs he would ever perform for the country.

Thai Rath on what Juti said the other day that there were 200 posters of lese majeste information on the internet. Then there is this quote:

“นายกรัฐมนตรีได้กำชับให้เน้นเป็นพิเศษในการดูแลปัญหาเรื่องเว็บไซต์ โดยขอให้เชิญทุกฝ่ายที่เกี่ยวข้องมาทำความเข้าใจและขอความร่วมมือ เพราะที่เป็นปัญหาหลักในการหมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ คือ เรื่องเว็บไซต์ เช่น กรณีของเว็บประชาไทที่เจ้าของเขาเก่ง เมื่อสั่งปิด เขาก็ติดต่อกับต่างประเทศ ให้มาถ่ายภาพเขายืนเกาะลูกกรงอยู่ ทำให้ภาพพจน์ประเทศออกไปไม่ดี จึงขอให้หาทางพูดคุยทำความเข้าใจกับเจ้าของเว็บไซต์หรือผู้เกี่ยวข้องเพื่อเสริมสร้างความปรองดองและสมานฉันท์ได้อย่างแท้จริง”

[BP’s own translation: “The PM emphasizes do handle the website problem by inviting to create an understanding and ask for cooperation because the main problem of lese majeste is websites. For example, the case of Prachatai website, the owner is very intelligent. When there is an order to close the website, the owner will make contact with overseas when they are behind the bars to make a bad image for the country. Therefore, I request to talk to create an understanding with the website owner or person involved in order to create real unity and reconciliation”]

BP: Aside from Nirmal and Nick Nostitz, were there any other foreign journalists there? Have only seen one photo of Chiranuch behind bars.

On May 29 in a press briefing an AP reporter asked why prachatai.com continued to be blocked. In response, Abhisit stated he didn’t know about prachatai.com but added that its webboard discussion may have defamatory content. “The whole website should not be shutdown. I thought we lifted [it] for a while. But I will look into the matter again.”

BP: A few days later CRES blocked Prachatai’s latest URL. Prachatai was blocked in early April and its blocking actually received fairly widespread media coverage at the time. So how long will the government continue to block it? How much longer will Abhisit continue to look into it without any resolution? He expressed regret last year over the arrest of Chiranuch. Since his expression of regret, the prosecution is moving forward with the case against Chiranuch and her trial will start next year.

WikiLeaks Embraces Torrent and Magnet Links


TirrentFreak: June 09, 2010


As it moves from one controversy to the next, Whistleblower site WikiLeaks is rarely out of the news lately. The site offers thousands of previously confidential documents to download from its own servers resulting in huge bills for bandwidth. Now in addition to these direct downloads, WikiLeaks is offering both torrent and magnet links.

Earlier this year WikiLeaks, the world’s largest whistleblower website that allows people to publish uncensored information anonymously, suspended its operations due to problems with funding. Through donations, by February 6th it had achieved its minimum funding-raising goal and was eventually restored to its former glory.

Although rarely out of the news for long, on 5th April 2010 WikiLeaks grabbed headlines worldwide after releasing a classified US military video “depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.”

Yesterday the site was in the spotlight again, after ex-hacker Adrian Lamo (who TorrentFreak spoke with recently about a movie leak) admitted that he had informed the authorities who had leaked the so-called “Collateral Murder” video to WikiLeaks.

Of course, all this attention leads to big bills for WikiLeaks as it continues to fund the distribution of leaked documents to the world. Thus far it has carried that out from its own servers but recently it has made a rather interesting addition to its system.

In the ‘Download’ section for individual documents, in addition to the usual direct link ‘FILE’ (.zip) download, two other buttons have been added – ‘Torrent’ and ‘Magnet’.

These files are smaller than the most of the documents hosted on WikiLeaks and allow readers to download the material from BitTorrent users around the world, utilizing their bandwidth rather than the site’s.

However, regardless of where the material is stored people will still need to download the .torrent or magnet links in order to access the material. This would continue to be a problem if WikiLeaks went down due to funding or other more serious problems, such as an attack from a hostile government. Hosting these links in other places would therefore seem to be a good idea. But what if there was another hybrid-style option?

“What if WikiLeaks was a sort of Wiki-BitTorrent, served by thousands of people around the world running a background process on their computers,” mused Edward Benson, a Ph.D. student at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

“No fundraising needed here, it’s all P2P. And if the Wiki is maintained WikiPedia style, then we no longer need to pay for a centralized staff to curate it. Plus, there’s no centralized staff to kill or jail. It can be a decentralized, collaborative process,” Benson noted back in March, before WikiLeaks started added .torrent and magnet links.

However, a full Wiki-BitTorrent type system has its problems. Without public confidence in the publisher of this leaked information – in this case the established reputation of WikiLeaks – how can anyone be certain that the information they’re getting from a BitTorrent-type system is actually what it says it is?

“If WikiLeaks was P2P, then it could be attacked — poisoned at the infrastructural level by the governments and corporations that do not want to see it succeed. Even worse, a P2P WikiLeaks could be left standing, but its content could be poisoned with fake and misleading files,” adds Benson.

Most readers will be familiar will the concept of the fake or useless download. From the spoofed files uploaded by the RIAA onto shared-folder type file-sharing networks containing nothing but silence or other useless junk, to the malware, renamed or otherwise manipulated files of uncertain origin of today. With a music or video file this is a minor inconvenience, for a leaked document of global significance and implications, errors or deliberately misleading information would be an unmitigated disaster. It is here that Benson notes an irony in his analysis of WikiLeaks.

“What if this experiment in citizen’s power is successful precisely because it is a dictatorship?”

As with the ‘verified downloads’ offered by many torrent sites today, it seems that at least for now there is a requirement for a central source of trust to ensure that the material being offered is what it says it is, whether it’s the recreational business of grabbing media or the world-changing implications of leaked documents.

On reflecting over recent events in Thailand’s capital, there is one simple aspect we never hear discussed or mentioned.

Taking a human life is murder. There are no justifications, rationalisations or excuses for killing.

There is no “I was only following orders” free card. There is no hiding behind laws or courts or national security, internal security or state of emergency or even war, declared or not, or wars on ‘drugs’ or ‘terrorism’. There are no “enemies”. Killing is murder.

Yet people the world over think they can magically impose a lofty goal…by murdering the opposition. It is painfully obvious to every thinking person that violence only escalates into retaliation.

Every religion, spiritual teaching, moral and ethical construct begins with an admonition to refrain from killing. By ignoring that core teaching, we insult whomever is the creator and prove ourselves unworthy of this human form.

I have known some murderers in my own long life. Some had been convicted, two awaiting the death penalty, a few unconvicted but willingly admitting to the act, and even a few who got away with it, along with numerous returned soldiers and police from many conflict zones. I have, however, only known one true mass murderer, a US military commander sending warplanes on bombing runs into Iraq.

These men (they were all men) were no better and no worse than those who hide behind their military orders, participate in war situations where to kill means not be be killed, sell war weapons for profit or ideology, police shooting suspects, judges passing a death sentence, legal executioners carrying out those sentences.

To call any of these less than murder is to fool ourselves. Those who gave the orders to shoot at Ratchadamnoen and Ratchaprasong are murderers, from the top to the bottom, as are those who themselves fired the guns.

The murdered can never forgive you. You have stolen their voices.

How do these murderers go home every day to a comfortable house, kiss their wives, pour a stiff drink, eat a great meal and read a bedtime story to their children and grandchildren? They obviously aren’t aware of the maggots already devouring their insides along with their kills.

I can’t offer an answer to what is “justice” in these cases, many sanctioned by men’s laws but surely not by any higher laws. But the answer is certainly not vengeance or retribution in kind. That would solve nothing. We’ve done enough damage to our humanity already.

CJ Hinke

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)

FACT signers tell us True Internet, TOT, CS-Loxinfo and Buddy Broadband-TTnT have been blocking FACTsite since May 9 and redirects users to a CAPO screen. We use CAT Hi-net and have never been blocked. This confirms Thai ISPs are blocking independently and illegally without instructions from govt.

It is pretty ironic for govt to censor a website against censorship!

Honestly, we don’t care much although, of course, it is our duty to harass Thai govt and military unmercifully to keep them honest. We all have a different concept of our duty to the Thai nation. The difference for censors is that they’re getting paid for it.

Although we’re in some fine company on the blocklist, we wonder, WHEN IS MICT GOING TO UNCENSOR US???

If FACT readers have been paying attention, there are dozens of ways to ignore Thai censorship and unblock your Internet. You’ll be in the dark if you haven’t been paying attention.

Has FACT been blocked by your ISP?

P.S. If you really don’t want FACT, go here: http://www.factreport.go.th/ (Bloody pirates!)

We are assembling pretty blockpages. “The Fern” is reportedly our ICT Minister’s desktop screen!  Please send us yours. Thanks.

FACT blocked by TOT:

FACT blocked by CS-Loxinfo:

and our personal favourite, from MICT:

Poem for Humankind

by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

(Late Abbott of Wat Suan Mokh)

We should behave toward our fellow human beings as if they…

Were born, and will grow old, suffer and die, like us

Enduring the wheel of existence, of samsara

Living under the power of attachments, like us

Subject to desire, rage, and delusion, and

Careless in their ways, like us

Having no idea why they were born, as we have no idea

Stupid in some things, as we are sometimes stupid

Indulging their own whims, as we indulge ours

Wanting to be good, perhaps prominent, even famous

Taking advantage of opportunities to take advantage of others, like us.

They have the right to be crazy, to get drunk, to become obsessed

They are ordinary people who cling to this or that, as we do

They are under no obligation to suffer or die in our place

They are our fellow citizens, in secular and spiritual realms

They behave sometimes in haste, carelessly, like us

They have the duty to be responsible for their families, not for ours

The have the right to their own tastes, their own definition of well-being

They have the right to choose (even their religion) to suit themselves

They have the right to a share of public resources equal to our share

The right to be insane, in the world’s opinion, as do we

The right to seek our help, and pity, and compassion

The right to our forgiveness, depending upon the merits of the case

The right to be socialists, or liberals,

To think of themselves before they think of others

They have the right to every right we claim, to live in this world.

Could we all but think this way, conflict and discord would not arise.

(Translated by Susan F. Kepner 2010)



เขาเป็นเพื่อน เกิด แก่ เจ็บ ตาย ของเรา


เขาก็ตกอยู่ใต้อำนาจกิเลสเหมือนเรา ย่อมพลั้งเผลอไปบ้าง

เขาก็มี ราคะ โทสะ โมหะ ไม่น้อยไปกว่าเรา


เขาก็ไม่รู้ว่าเกิดมาทำไม เหมือนเรา ไม่รู้จักนิพพานเหมือนเรา

เขาโง่ในบางอย่าง เหมือนที่เราเคยโง่

เขาก็ตามใจตัวเองในบางอย่าง เหมือนที่เราเคยทำ

เขาก็อยากดี เหมือนเรา ที่อยาก ดี-เด่น-ดัง

เขาก็มักจะกอบโกย และเอาเปรียบเมื่อมีโอกาสเหมือนเรา

เขาก็มีสิทธิที่จะ บ้าดี-เมาดี-หลงดี-จมดี เหมือนเรา

เขาเป็นคนธรรมดา ที่ยึดมั่นถือมั่นอะไรต่างๆ เหมือนเรา

เขาไม่มีหน้าที่ ที่จะเป็นทุกข์ หรือตายแทนเรา

เขาเป็นเพื่อนร่วมชาติ ร่วมศาสนากะเรา

เขาก็ทำอะไรด้วยความคิดชั่วแล่น และผลุนผลัน เหมือนเรา

เขามีหน้าที่รับผิดชอบต่อครอบครัวของเขา มิใช่ของเรา

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะมีรสนิยม ตามพอใจของเขา

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะเลือก (แม้ศาสนา) ตามพอใจของเขา

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะใช้สมบัติสาธารณะเท่ากันกับเรา

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะเป็นโรคประสาท หรือเป็นบ้า เท่ากับเรา

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะขอความช่วยเหลือ เห็นอกเห็นใจจากเรา

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะได้รับอภัยจากเรา ตามควรแก่กรณี

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะเป็นสังคมนิยม หรือเสรีนิยม ตามใจเขา

เขามีสิทธิ ที่จะเห็นแก่ตัว ก่อนเห็นแก่ผู้อื่น

เขามีสิทธิ แห่งมนุษยชน เท่ากันกับเรา สำหรับจะอยู่ในโลก

ถ้าเราคิดกันอย่างนี้ จะไม่มีการขัดแย้งใดๆ เกิดขึ้น

จาก แก่นพุทธศาสน์ (พุทธทาส อินทปัญโญ)

ที่มา ธรรมจักร

Turn in a website!

May 25, 2010

Hey, kids! You could have some real fun with this!

If you see a website that slanders royalty, is too harsh on your favourite government politicians or is simply too raunchy, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology wants you to click on the 1212 logo and complain today at mict.go.th.

[FACT comments: Govt is obviously employing a keyword spider which blocks automatically and indiscriminately. It would be therefore relatively easy for govt to block links from TLC list emails. However, it would require sophisticated deep packet inspection to block the actual emails themselves.]

Here is a note from a member. Have others noticed a blocking of links from the TLC?

I am based near Sattahip in Thailand, and have been receiving tlc

emails and links, as well as reading thaivisa reports on the recent events in Thailand for the past few weeks.

Tonight , maybe since about 9.00 pm (BKK time), nearly all my web connections seem to be blocked, although a few still work.

So it is not a technical blanket cut-off, but a selected one. I still received a non political email from the USA at 9.34, about 8 mins ago, but none of the links in the tlc emails work, nor any links to thaivisa.com, CNN, BBC, etc.

My weblink to my NZ based email server still loads on my web browser

Three members have reported internet sites being blocked. Here are some comments.

1) Yes! I believe I was online when Thongchai sent in the BBC link that shows the fellow rolling the tire and getting shot. It came up immediately, and I watched it twice through. I went out the door to invite a friend in to watch it, and it seemed blocked (and I’ve never been able to see it again–so I assume it was). Mr. Sathit and team is incredibly efficient, and if nothing else, this might be recognized as a strong point of the Abhisit government.

Then I opened up the email with a list of video clips and stories concerning 13 to 15 May–watched them. Went home that afternoon–could only pull one of them up.

2) I can access all the sites he mentioned from Bangkok, but Prachathai is blocked. If a site is “blocked,” you should get this message:

การเข้าถึงข้อมูลดังกล่าวนี้ ถูกระงับเป็นการชั่วคราว


3) No, but those two New Mandala emails with royal-related subject lines were blocked by hotmail and yahoo?

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