Thailand Coup Leaders Insist Their Orders To Censor The Internet Are Not Actually Censorship

from the because-they-are dept

You may have heard that there was yet another coup in Thailand this week (an unfortunately common occurrence in the country). While that, alone, isn't exactly Techdirt-worthy material, there are now reports that the coup leaders have summoned local ISP execs to explain to them how to censor the internet:
The meeting with internet service providers (ISPs) is likely to discuss the directives given to Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday, when the country was under martial law but before a bloodless coup was declared. Those directives instruct ISPs to block sites containing content related to the coup that is deemed inappropriate – though it’s unclear what that means or how it will be carried out in practice. Yesterday, six sites were blocked, and the NBTC made it clear that social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Line will be monitored closely.
But the really ridiculous and amusing part is where the NBTC insists that its censorship directives are not, in fact, censorship directives, even though that's the only legitimate way to describe them:
An NBTC representative said yesterday that this does not constitute censorship of the web.
As if to hammer home the point that this "non-censorship" absolutely is censorship in every possible way, the Thai military forcibly shut down a web livestream of ThaiPBS reporters covering the news (though, as you can see from the video, everyone seems fairly laid back about it).
Shortly after the forced broadcast TV shutdown last night, ThaiPBS continued with a live YouTube stream of their TV news. But as seen in this video (hat-tip to Coconuts Bangkok for spotting it), a pair of soldiers went into the ThaiPBS newsroom to get the livestream taken offline.
Check out that "not censorship" in action.

Filed Under: censorship, coup, free speech, internet, isps, thailand


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  1. identicon
    Pragmatic, 30 May 2014 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Censorship in Thailand

    Seek out and find an effective bogeyman on whom to pin the blame for the economic downturn that will surely result. If you can't disarm the people you can certainly limit their purchasing power. Get them all paranoid and distrustful of each other. Recruit and train thought leaders and set up an echo chamber to which only the "enlightened" or "correct" are invited, and endlessly repeat the same talking points until the and their adherents believe it.

    Convince the adherents that there are great rewards for sticking to the system and that the penalties that should result for those who don't aren't being brought to bear because the bogeymen are protecting them, acting as a cushion from the consequences of their actions.

    Convince the adherents that they alone are good moral people and that non-adherents are not only morally compromised, they're a threat to society at large and in league with the bogeyman.

    The only way to enforce an authoritarian regime is to appeal to the authoritarians in the population and give them positions of power.

    'Murica! Or Thailand.

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