Rising Awareness of Thailand Net Censorship

From Bangkok Post: “‘A major complaint about Thaksin [Shinawatra] was his muzzling of the media and willingness to limit free speech,’ said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. ‘The military-backed government promised a quick return to democracy, but it’s now attacking freedom of expression and political pluralism in ways that Thaksin never dared.’

Censorship of the Internet, which currently is being carried out by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and the Royal Thai Police, in collaboration with the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) and the Telecommunications Authority, has blocked many political websites and blogs.

Wrangling over the blocking of YouTube due to content on the site related to His Majesty the King has also raised global concerns about the future of freedom of expression and the Internet in Thailand.

‘The military and government are clearly worried that Thaksin may return to power and are engaging in censorship to stop this,’ said Mr Adams.

‘But instead of resorting to draconian restrictions on free speech, the Thai authorities need to realise that their promised return to democracy requires opening the political process.’ “

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