Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Thailand now have the power to remove and censor online content without requiring approval from the authorities. In Thailand this applies to local Internet providers such as True, TOT, and 3BB.
The new rule follows a recent meeting between the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the law enforcement authorities and the Internet companies. Until now, it was necessary for them to obtain a court order asking for permission to block a specific site or page, according to the Bangkok Post.
ISPs are now required to monitor social media content (Facebook, Twitter and so on) and censor any content that threatens national security, or that is deemed offensive to the monarchy or government.
An ISP must also report any blocked sites to the NBTC immediately, as well as the Information and Communication Technology Ministry. They can of course discuss the issues with the commission’s staff, if they are unsure whether specific content should be blocked or not.
“We’d like to ask everyone to check carefully before posting or sharing anything on the internet. They can also report offensive content by sending email to email@example.com,” said the NBTC’s secretary general Takorn Tantasith.
It always worth bearing that in mind before posting anything on social media sites in Thailand!
Foreign companies fail to cooperate with authorities in Thailand
The Bangkok Post said that the move comes about as foreign Internet companies (such as Google) have not cooperated with the government to block offensive content. Just last week, it was reported that Google had failed to remove hundreds of YouTube videos that were requested to be taken down by the Thai authorities in 2013. Thailand’s new policy will be enforced by the police and relevant authorities.
The current administration has already shut down nearly 400 websites that have not complied to the country’s strict laws regarding insulting the government or monarchy.
Source: The Bangkok Post