Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thailand Struggles with Internet Content

The Bangkok Post ran an lengthy article discussing the issue of freedom of speech and control of inappropriate content. Much of the article is concerned with controlling disparaging comments made online about the Thai Monarchy.

The article provides an excellent example of how each culture is struggling to deal with these issues and the difficulty in enforcing any regulations that are passed:
"Blocking content on over 2,000 web sites just prevents Thai residents accessing them while others worldwide still can. This method therefore cannot truly protect the honour of the monarchy," added Chiranuch Premchaiporn, director of Prachathai, an online news web site.

"The ICT [Information and Communication Technology] Ministry's combative stance on cyperspace is viewed as another draconian measure, in addition to the Computer Crime Act 2007 that deals with cyber-dissidents or online criminals. But the group at the seminars fears that such extreme measures will do more harm than good.

"We support the law and the policy to handle such crimes as hacking, deception, child pornography, pirate video clips, and theft of personal information, but the measure that allows state agents to block and close web sites can also lead to a violation of freedom of speech and limits public access to information," said Supinya Klangnarong, CPMR [the Campaign for Popular Media Reform]."


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