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Government, Google ‘join forces’ to block sites

BANGKOK: Almost 100 web addresses on the popular video-sharing site YouTube have been blocked over the past four days for insulting the monarchy, the result of what the government is calling a “joint blocking effort” with Google.

crime, culture, technology,

Bangkok Post

Wednesday 26 October 2016, 09:34AM

Almost 100 web addresses on the popular video-sharing site YouTube have been blocked over the past four days for insulting the monarchy. Photo: Bangkok Post
Almost 100 web addresses on the popular video-sharing site YouTube have been blocked over the past four days for insulting the monarchy. Photo: Bangkok Post

Another 380 web addresses, or URLs, on the site, run by a subsidiary of Google, are in the process of being blocked, said a government official responsible for monitoring and blocking inappropriate content online.

The source said the government was also planning to invite representatives of Facebook this week to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in blocking users that post content or comments insulting the monarchy.

“Approximately 30-40 URLs with inappropriate content have been blocked per day since last week, compared with an average of two to 10 before we started working together,” the source said.

Last Friday (Oct 21), Ann Lavin, director of public policy and government affairs at Google’s Southeast Asia and Greater China office, met Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong to discuss the issue.

The source said Google had put in place steps making it easier for the government to complain about YouTube posts considered offensive to the monarchy. Google employees in the US consider the requests.

The effort includes a complaint report from the government available in Thai rather than only in English, as with previous versions. Google indicated it had Thai nationals to handle complaints around the clock.

The source said the government has to send URLs with inappropriate content to Google’s office in the US for review. It must also seek court orders in Thailand.

The cooperation benefits the government because it shortens the process of blocking web addresses, the source said. It also helps avoid misunderstandings between the government and Google on what will be categorised as inappropriate content.

“The government needs strong assistance from Google to permanently remove all the web addresses showing inappropriate videos on YouTube,” the source said.

Google spokesmen have insisted they have made no changes to their policies, which allow for site-blocking and YouTube video take downs after considering government requests on a case-by-case basis.

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Earlier, ACM Prajin said the government was monitoring and tracking 100 people either posting or making comments with inappropriate content insulting the monarchy online.

The government also set up yet another “war room” to monitor and block inappropriate web addresses 24 hours a day by working with the two state-run Cyber Security Operation Centres.

ACM Prajin did not mention another new self-styled monitoring centre at the headquarters of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Yesterday (Oct 25), Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asked the public to refrain from quarrels and let the lese majeste law do its job.

Some netizens have turned angry after seeing online messages that allegedly defame the monarch. Others have criticised the censorship.

Gen Prayut advised people not to use emotions to judge what they see. If they find any act to be insulting, they should first look into the reasons behind it. If it turns out that the action was ill-intended, they should let officers deal with the issue, he said.

The Foreign Ministry will arrange extradition requests to other countries where suspects under Section 112 of the Criminal Code – better known as the lese majeste law – have fled, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said.

Following the Justice Ministry’s recent move to send letters asking authorities in other countries to extradite suspects whose posts breached Section 112, Mr Don said the ministry will help get the letters to these authorities.

“We can ask for cooperation [from other countries],” he said.

Read original story here.



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Joe12 | 30 October 2016 - 19:19:14

Rorii..The article states, "...have been blocked over the past four days for insulting the monarchy."

Kurt writes, "Quite extra ordinary."

I subsequently refer him to what the article states as it the law, and has nothing to do with "Freedom of speech" as he wrongly suggests.

That was the only piece that I could comprehend of Kurt's diatribe. Logic has nothing to with it. 

I have 3 university degrees, so I can tell you that I cannot understand most of what he is saying and I don't waste my time trying to understand boofheads either.

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Kurt | 30 October 2016 - 18:43:41

By the way: As Thai Interpol now gets busy with trying to get extradition of thai people who are in other countries,...  
How about that RED BULL car killer?
No authority in Thailand seems to know or want to know were that Red Bull criminal is this moment!
In Thailand, abroad? No thai authority knows.
That is now a typical job for Thai Interpol.
The thai people say: The law is the law, right?

Thai justice and police authorities who did allow the Red Bull car killer to keep his passport should be put on inactive posts and have their and family members bank accounts X-rayed.
This is all about corruption.

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Kurt | 30 October 2016 - 14:47:45

With very much respect for the thai foreign minister, Mr Don, I like to suggest his Ministerial lawyers first study the extradition laws of the other countries in order to know on forehand or a thai extradition request makes any chance.

In this matter Thailand has to deal/respect the law of other countries.
I don't know or Thailand has signed explicit international extradition treaties with other countries, in which will be written exactly about extradition, yes or no.

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Rorii | 30 October 2016 - 10:39:12

Joe12,  here you are saying you know what thai people want, even though they have no say in what "illegal government" is now in charge.
"What matters is what the Thai people want" this is true, but the Thai people are NOT getting what they want.

You seem to have completely lost the plot, on my, and Kurt's, comment, with regards to this juntas control over YouTube and Google, in fact the headline is also misleading, Ed from that ex blog, would love it, seeing he won an award for exaggerated headlines, because Google hasn't "joined forces" with the junta.

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Joe12 | 29 October 2016 - 13:22:04

Rorii...the rest of the world doesn't have to like Thai laws ...or for the matter the laws of any other country. What matters is what the Thai people want. If you don't like the laws either make moves to change it or change countries.  

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Rorii | 29 October 2016 - 11:56:49

swerv, I wasn't referring to ONLY this story, I was referring to all of kurt's comments, that you seem not to understand.. to me it is you that has the problem'

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swerv | 28 October 2016 - 15:58:37

Rorri: You are mistaken, i have not responded to Kurt in this article as i can't understand what he is talking about.

I thought Joe12's comment was succinct and to the point. I understand what he is saying.

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Rorii | 28 October 2016 - 10:07:44

Joe12, I think most people, except you and swerv, understand all of kurt's comment.
"Read the damn article, "YouTube posts considered offensive to the monarchy." It's also Thai law. Can't make head nor tail of the rest of your comments." the simple, very simple, fact is Thailand, and it's rediculous laws, mean NOTHING to the rest of the world, that includes any organisation, such as Google and YouTube.

I really think there is a problem with your logic... maybe a mental issue.
I really can't make head nor tail of your comment, there's no relationship to kurt's comment.

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Christy Sweet | 28 October 2016 - 08:30:28

I hope the YouTube employees toss those requests in the garbage where they belong. Incarcerating, and inciting violence against people for voicing their opinions is as wrong as it gets.

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Joe12 | 26 October 2016 - 20:39:07

Kurt...extra ordinary? Read the damn article, "YouTube posts considered offensive to the monarchy." It's also Thai law. Can't make head nor tail of the rest of your comments.

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