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Censorship Government Politics

Thai Government To Close 400 Anti-government Sites 267

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wonder-how-long-before-it's-our-turn dept.
Will Lord writes "The Guardian is reporting that the Thai government plans to close down 400 anti-government websites and is asking ISPs to block 1,200 more. The response follows a declaration of a state of emergency which has seen troops take to the streets of Bangkok to police anti-government protests. With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent, do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?"
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Thai Government To Close 400 Anti-government Sites

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:32AM (#24858039)

    It won't be so much the government cracking down against *dissident* websites in the U.S., it will be the government and major broadband ISP's cracking down on websites based on file-sharing and "Intellectual Property" violations (at the behest of the MPAA/RIAA and their ilk). It's only a matter of time before typing in piratebay.org into your browser leads you to a page that says "This page is blocked for copyright violations" or something similar. The courts have already directly taken down sites like Torrentspy [wikipedia.org] and Lokitorrent [wikipedia.org] in the U.S.

    People will learn to get around blocks with proxies, true, but how long before ISP's start blocking major proxy sites too? If my workplace can use Websense [wikipedia.org] to block virtually any proxy list (and it's REALLY good at it too, BTW), there is nothing to stop my ISP from doing it too. And, like most people, I only have a couple of choices of broadband ISP's in my area (AT&T and Time Warner), so it's not like I could just take my business elsewhere.

    • by mitchplanck (1233258) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:42AM (#24858173)

      It's only a matter of time before typing in piratebay.org into your browser leads you to a page that says "This page is blocked for copyright violations" or something similar.

      It won't say "This page is blocked..." it will say "Your IP address has been recorded and the FBI has been notified that you are attempting illegal activities."

    • RIAA/MPAA (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Beer Drunk (1059846)
      This is America, the corporations ARE the government. Just check out all the lobbyists at the conventions.
      • Re:RIAA/MPAA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tom (822) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:39AM (#24858953) Homepage Journal

        This is America, the corporations ARE the government.

        No, they are not. Actually being the government would leave them with all the bothersome stuff, like the national debt or the responsibility to run a country and provide at least basic services to people. Also the whole problem of elections.

        Being "just very influential" to the point of control is much better, as it leaves you with the profits, but without the costs.

        • Re:RIAA/MPAA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @10:50AM (#24860217)
          "No, they are not. Actually being the government would leave them with all the bothersome stuff, like the national debt or the responsibility to run a country and provide at least basic services to people."

          Except that none of these are the responsibility of a properly-functioning government. There is no right to "basic services". There is only the right to your life and your property, the protection of which is the function of the government. The debt can easily be handled if the government shuts down the services that it does not have the right to run, and sells off the infrastructure and equipment used to maintain and facilitate those services.

          A company can persuade all it wants. It is only when an elected official helps pass laws in that company's favor that corruption occurs.
          • Finally, someone who gets it.
          • by packeteer (566398)

            Section 8 - Powers of Congress

            To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

            To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

            To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

            To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

            I know these are all things that Libertarians wish the government could not do but its right there in the constitution

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by djp928 (516044)

              No, you have it backwards. These are all things that Libertarians want Congress to *stick* to doing, and stop doing all the rest of the stuff like wealth redistribution that they have no authority to do.

            • Where did I mention the Constitution? The Constitution is not a perfect document. People did in fact exist for at least a few centuries before the Constitution was written, and while they existed, they occasionally wrote about the proper functions of a government. With that said, the Constitution is as closed to perfect as has been witnessed to date.
            • Also note: I am not a Libertarian. They are a mishmash of individuals with arbitrarily intersecting interests, aiming at contradictory goals. This is how you get a LP presidential candidate that was at the forefront of the war on drugs.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by brunes69 (86786)

            Things like this are very easy to say for people who have grown up on these basic services.

            Having a "right to life and property" doesn't do you much good when you have no money or facilities to defend that life and property.

            • "Things like this are very easy to say for people who have grown up on these basic services."

              I haven't grown up on Social Security. I do see my income going towards it though. And what is the point in your comment? Is the status quo justified by being the status quo?

              "Having a "right to life and property" doesn't do you much good when you have no money or facilities to defend that life and property."

              Did you miss the part of my post where I described the proper function of the government?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Atario (673917)

            Except that none of these are the responsibility of a properly-functioning government. There is no right to "basic services". There is only the right to your life and your property, the protection of which is the function of the government.

            The function of the government is whatever we say it is. Why is your opinion more important than mine?

      • by Arthur B. (806360)

        Riiiight. Hence the corporate taxes.

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      In the US I am afraid of draconian censorship being applied to all of us. I'm not entirely convinced that people who become "political" are safe from death squads or assassination here either. Once people are required to protest "elsewhere" it is only a matter of degree in having them protest in the absolute elsewhere, as in six feet under.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by poetmatt (793785)

        You can thank the Noerr Pennington doctrine for that. I'd love to see it challenged but I don't know how we can do so.

        Get rid of that, and you won't see corporations with lobbyists. Would fix a TON of shit in the US.

    • by Awptimus Prime (695459) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @11:01AM (#24860361)

      It won't be so much the government cracking down against *dissident* websites in the U.S.

      Yes, only on /. is it "Insightful" to compare an attempt to foil software pirates in the U.S. to the attempted annihilation of expressing political beliefs by those in another country.

      The last I checked, both of our major political parties thrive on protesting each other. Somehow I do not see this changing anytime soon. The right will want people protesting the left, the left will want people protesting the right, etc. This is kind of a tradition here.

      Anyone who moderates up this kind of garbage really should be ashamed. People in Thailand are up a creek without a paddle and you actually encourage bringing a discussion of U.S. piracy into the thread. Shame.

      What's next? GWB isn't going to leave office peacefully when the new guy is voted in and immediately begin leading an army of robots to take over the world? That sounds "Insightful". /rant

    • this is why it annoys me when people talk about how private corporations have the legal right to do whatever they want, and if you don't like it you can just go with another company. as if that should protect them from criticism by the public.

      the fact of the matter is, corporate culture affects all of our lives. and in many cases (the ones that matter at least, not like what brand of shoes you buy) there aren't any viable alternatives, or there aren't any significant differences between the available choice

  • At least they aren't shooting them

    • Sure not. They still need to sell you what you can't obtain "for free" anymore.
      The message will read "you IP address has been recorded and will be forwarded to the FBI unless you purchase the legal copyrights at ourstore.com within the next 24h"
  • by RandoX (828285) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:34AM (#24858055)

    That wouldn't be in the best interest of the people, right?

  • With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?

    Yes. A simple answer for an obvious question.

  • Roots of the Issue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:39AM (#24858129) Journal

    With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?

    I doubt it ... although, I think China & Russia will follow suit (if they aren't already).

    From what I've read, the short of this state of emergency is simply an elite urban ruling class that supports the Thai monarchy and abolished the prime minister back in 2006. The elite class is calling itself the People's Alliance for Democracy even though they have little to nothing to do with fair representation across the entire state. Again, I don't live there, this is second hand information.

    Basically, violent protests from both sides are going down and people are dying. Hopefully shutting down the sites that point out the obvious will stop these clashes. I sincerely doubt it, this will clearly be more justification for the rest of Thailand to revolt against the Monarchy.

    Unfortunately, Russia & China could both be seen in this same light with Beijing & Moscow being islands of wealth in an otherwise third world country.

    I doubt the US and much of Europe need to do this ... although I was getting a bit frightened there when it seemed for the longest time that a small select elite few wanted the war in Iraq. When Bush was re-elected, there wasn't much I could say however. I feel like half the country wanted it so there's no sense in me violently reacting to this. I'm certain the Thai feel much differently about their situation.

    If you can't see healthy dissent in a country to some extent--something is terribly wrong.

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)
      > I doubt it ... although, I think China & Russia will follow suit (if they aren't already).

      Regarding China...

      Owners of protest and dissident websites during the olympics
    • by TorKlingberg (599697) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:13AM (#24858585)
      You have missed some news. The supporters of the previous prime minister won the recent election and got the power back from the military. Now it is the People's Alliance for Democracy that is revolting.
    • by TheLink (130905) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:20AM (#24858669) Journal

      "I sincerely doubt it, this will clearly be more justification for the rest of Thailand to revolt against the Monarchy. "

      Revolt against the monarchy? Uh this is Thailand we're talking about. Far far less than 1% will revolt against the King. This is not a revolt against the monarchy, this is a revolt against the government.

      Everyone respects the King a lot in Thailand (some to the point of worship) see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol_Adulyadej [wikipedia.org]

      The government != the monarchy.

      All Thai governments claim to support the king, otherwise they'd never get power or stay in power.

      The king could probably stop the protests by just telling everyone to go home, and the king could probably kick the current government too just by disapproving of them. But so far it seems he hasn't showed his hand yet.

      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_May_(1992)#Royal_intervention [wikipedia.org]

      • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:42AM (#24858997) Journal

        Uh this is Thailand we're talking about. Far far less than 1% will revolt against the King.

        Unless the Thais have changed drastically since 1974 (and as they have a 5,000 year history I sincerely doubt it), you are correct. I was there from August 1973 to August 1974 and I never once met a Thai would wouldn't lay his or her life down for the king. Most people had his portrait/photograph displayed in their homes.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The current king most of all. I was over there in 2005 for quite awhile; the only place I have ever went that before a movie, you had to stand and honor the king while a clip played reviewing his life. To not do so would have gotten you some harsh stares and probably in trouble. You do -not- slight the king in Thailand. (Or the queen, or their children.)

          That said, the current king is not just some lay about playboy who lives a good life; the man does care about his country and has worked hard on improving

          • by fliptout (9217)

            Somebody who knows what he is talking about! I lived there for a short time in 2006 and had the exact same impressions.

            • by TheLink (130905)
              The trouble for Thailand is the democracy thing isn't working so well, and as for the monarchy let's just say it's going to be hard for the Crown Prince to do better than the king.

              So, long live the king and may he continue to have wisdom and strength to guide his country.

              I'm sure one of his ideas is to set up a political system and country which can do fine in his absence, but much of Thailand isn't cooperating ;).

              He's probably trying his hardest not to step in for this current mess.
    • by MrNaz (730548)

      You my friend know nothing of Thai politics.

      There is no chance of an anti-monarchy revolt. All Thais, without exception, revere the King. The current state was brought about by the educated classes rejecting the current prime minister, as they think he is just a proxy for the old elitist prime minister who fled the country and is now wanted on corruption charges.

      They feel that the poor classes were bribed into voting for the current prime minister with cheap election promises, easy to do when 90% of the pop

      • There is no chance of an anti-monarchy revolt. All Thais, without exception, revere the King.

        This is very true. In fact, if a foreigner were to so much as deface a picture of the king in public view he would very likely be set upon by a mob of angry Siamese and be beaten to death. The king only rarely intervenes directly in the political process and he could quell the protests and reform the government instantly with merely a word, but he has been reluctant to do that because he has worked diligently for many years now to promote democratic government and the intervention of the king, even one as r

    • From what I've read, the short of this state of emergency is simply an elite urban ruling class that supports the Thai monarchy and abolished the prime minister back in 2006. The elite class is calling itself the People's Alliance for Democracy even though they have little to nothing to do with fair representation across the entire state. Again, I don't live there, this is second hand information.

      It's more like this:

      From 2001 to 2006, PM Thaksin Shinawatra presided over an administration that systematicall

  • by gfxguy (98788) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:40AM (#24858141)

    "With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?"

    No. You may see maneuvering by ISPs and content providers. I seriously doubt you'll see any crackdown by the governments.

    This seriously reminds me of that yearly list of censored stories. I mean, you get the list, you whine they're censored, yet provide links to each one. Sorry, there's no censorship here, least of all against anti-government sentiment, whether the content is true or 100% false, as should be quite obvious by some of the sites out there.

    • In order to pass legislation, a comprehensive solution will be required, that covers multiple forms of communication, and covers enough issues to gain enough votes. Similar to passing a budget, there must be enough pork spread around in order to gain enough votes to pass.

      This year is too soon IMO, because it's not an election type of issue for voters to decide, it's an issue decided by backroom politics. In the past I've predicted something like Net Neutrality + Fairness Doctrine = 2010 [slashdot.org]
      • by gfxguy (98788)

        I honestly think you will see a legislative turnover if the Fairness Doctrine is reinstated... talk radio is very powerful, and it won't just be Limbaugh egging on his listeners, it'll be Hannity, Beck, and a myriad of others... I wouldn't doubt you'd see left wing hosts getting their listeners agitated about it.

    • How many times do you hear about the fact that Walmart could not expand and make as much profit without the existence of government welfare programs? Or that the FBI employs fewer than fifty people who know Arabic? I can link you to one story about each of these items, but try to find them on your own. Now look for meaningless stories about sports, celebrities, fashion, celebrity news. There are tens of thousands of individually written stories about Brangelina's baby, but as far as I can see, not a single

      • Just did Google searchs.

        160K on "Walmart welfare expand".
        50K references to "FBI arabic speakers", many about their lack of numbers. here [washingtonpost.com], first listing.
        42K on "Secretary of Defense 2.3 trillion". here [cbsnews.com].

        What they hell are you talking about?
      • P.S. Corporations are not tyrannies. They have boards and shareholders. They're more like republics.
    • by Yeb (7194)

      Ya, no censorship in the USA...

      http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Indymedia [eff.org]

      That may be old news, but it continues. The cops are harassing lots of Indymedia (and related) people in Minnesota right now. Lots of people being charged with felonies for "rioting" even when they are in their *homes*.

      The censorship is already here. They have intimidated people to *not* report (but plenty reports come through).

      Oh and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now was arrested this week too.

      Not to talk of the control of the radio/tv exerte

  • Seriously now... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spasmhead (1301953) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:41AM (#24858151)
    If you were standing next to a guy with a knife as big as the one in photo on the guardian site [guardian.co.uk], would you even bother to get that "my penis is smaller than his" catapult out of your pocket?

    Seriously though, I don't think many western governments will be doing what this desperate Thai government is doing, not until there is rioting through the streets and they are fearful of their power. In that situation western government would probably do a lot worse than shut down websites.
    • by mccabem (44513)

      ...I don't think many western governments will be doing what this desperate Thai government is doing, not until there is rioting through the streets and they are fearful of their power.

      What about this [wikipedia.org], or this [wikipedia.org] or this [wikipedia.org]?

      It may be arguable if there was direct cause and effect between those riots (just the highlights) and all the political/social assassinations of that era, but I think anyone would find a hard time arguing they were purely coincidental. Our "elite" were (sadly) scared shitless during that time.

      Short term memory can be dangerous if that's all you have...don't pretend it can't happen here. (Again.)

      -Matt

  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:43AM (#24858179)
    If people rebelling is so much of a concern that you find yourself trying to regulate it, you just might be a facist!
  • by iplayfast (166447) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @08:44AM (#24858199)

    The US government is controlled by financial interests. Whether the congressmen who vote because of local financial interests, or big oil causing wars.

    So I would look to cases where sites are being cracked down where the sites protest against companies in an effective way. For example the RIAA, has been able to push DMCA and DRM through, which has been a disaster for all concerned. Yet they are now able to close down sites that share keytabs for guitars, many types of filesharing that in the past were just gray are now illegal.

  • That is simply unacceptable in the United States. The government has been getting away with a lot of things that they should not have been, but that kind of thing is very clearly over the line.
  • I was supposed to be heading to Thailand for the first week of october.

    Looks pretty unlikely now though.

    Guess I'll have to be stisfied with *just* singapore and australia.

    • by sm62704 (957197)

      I was there during the end of the Vietnam war, and never met a friendlier, happier people in my entire life. It was a wonderful experience, it was a beautiful country, and I urge you to visit despite the unrest. They had a revolution the year I was there.

      A few things, though - their culture is very unlike western culture. Do not under any circumstances step on money, as it has the king's picture on it. You could get killed for that. Do not under any ciscumstances point your foot at anyone, you can get your

      • by strelitsa (724743) *

        If someone offers you food or drink, take it and eat/drink it, as refusal of a gift is seen as a grave insult. I had a loaded and cocked .45 pointed at my face once when I didn't want to drink a shot of whiskey.

        Considering that I am a recovering alcoholic and am severely allergic to several types of food, I guess that trip to Thailand is off the table. (At least until I am allowed to carry my own weapon out to dinner).

  • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:14AM (#24858595) Journal

    I spent August 1973 to August 1974 in Utapao AFB in Thailand. Utapao was a short boat ride away from Phuket (pronounced "fuck it"; the Thais have a different alphabet than we do) At the time, Thailand was then a third world country. Utapao was in the southern part of the country, and there was no electricity nor running water nor natural gas in homes. The roads were unpaved. The business districts of Saddaheep and Bong Chong to the south of Utapao had electricity, but not the houses.

    We had a Thai intern at work a few years ago, and from her account Thailand has industrialized and is no longer a third world country.

    Once while riding a bhat bus (so called because it cost one bhat to ride; a bhat equaled five American pennies. The "bus" was a Japanese pickup truck with benches in the bed) flashing lights came up behind us, the driver skidded to a halt and took off running. I cursed and started to get out. "No!" a fellow passenger insisted, "Day keel you!" She was right; I watched in horror as Thai police shot the driver as he ran across the field.

    I attributed it to the fact that Thaland was closer to Vietnam than St Louis is to Chicago, and the war was going on, but it appears that even though they may no longer be a third world country, their government is still authoritarian.

    What's troublesome is my government, USA, seems to have been headed more and more towards authoritarianism and less free as time has gone on. So I fear that the answer to the question posed in TFS is "yes".

    I wrote two K5 diaries about my Thailand experiences a few years ago, Gecko Poker [kuro5hin.org] and War and Sex [kuro5hin.org] if anyone is interested in hearing about the place.

    While I was there I thought that a visit to Mars couldn't be stranger. Nothing was the same as here, even the dirt was a different color, the hills were a different shape, the vegetation was completely different. But the world seems to becoming more homogenous as time goes on.

    • Phuket (pronounced "fuck it"

      Pronounced "poo-KET".

      We had a Thai intern at work a few years ago, and from her account Thailand has industrialized and is no longer a third world country.

      Well, we know where she comes from then (the city). There's two very different countries inside Thailand's borders. A few pockets of expensive development, some shiny high-tech factories... and thousands of miles of desperately poor rural areas.

      it appears that even though they may no longer be a third world country, their gover

  • Thoughtcrime. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MRe_nl (306212) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:17AM (#24858641)

    "In addition, a Thai court issued three orders to shut down about 400 websites, 344 of which, it claimed, carried material that was contemptuous of the country's royal family. The other blocked websites included two with religious content, one video sex game and five sites deemed to carry obscene content."
    Ooh, contempt, content, games and obscenity. We wouldn't want any of that on our internet.

    Q: With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?

    A: No, they'll be as covert as possible.

    • Archive.org..... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mccabem (44513)

      Yup. Here's how we do it [archive.org] in the States.

      You'll never hear about 90+% of the shutdowns because the takedown order will come with a legal threat (from the FBI) against even talking about it. A gag order [wikipedia.org].

      -Matt

    • In the U.S. we call thought crime "HR 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007." [govtrack.us]

      `(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

      `(4) IDEOLOGICALLY BASED VIOLENCE- The term `ideologically based violence' means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs.

      What this bill does is set up a commission to decide what speech is terrorism and what isn't. During hearings for this bill they showed examples of this supposed homegrown terrorism. In between different Al-Qaeda websites, they showed Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth. [ae911truth.org] Even if you don't agree with them, I doubt anyone would believe that asking questions makes you a homegrown terrorist. Th

  • by quag7 (462196) <deepspace@dataswamp.net> on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:27AM (#24858755) Homepage

    As soon as someone dips their toe in the water and realizes that, in addition to all of the other legal transgressions committed by the government in recent years, they can get away with this to.

    By "get away," I mean that they can forcibly take down a website and the public reaction will be a bunch of angry blogging and a noisy protest march, both of which completely unfaze the government (nor does the direct action (aka vandalism, aka hissy-fits) of the so-called anarchists).

    Considering that this was as much as anyone did when the government started a war under either deliberately false pretenses, cherry-picked intelligence, or outright incompetence, I think there are those already thinking about outright censorship, which they'll cloak in some kind of undead HUAC-style (except having to do with "terrorism") rhetoric. I don't think this is some dark conspiracy where they're twisting their mustaches and laughing easily. Rather, the urge of this government and the power behind it is a line on a project plan somewhere, mapped to some kind of sick bottom line.

    The same was the result of monkeying with the electoral system, and the same is the result of the various crackdowns on protesters, illegal detention of supposed "combatants", extraordinary rendition, and so on. Angry blogging and impotent protests.

    The issue here is that no one is really willing to risk their neck to confront the government, or those who are, are unwilling to commit legal or literal suicide in doing so when the most solidarity they can hope for is people posting a bunch of angry shit on the Internet when they are arrested or worse.

    This administration is laughing in the face of our impotence as citzens. They've probably always felt this way about us, but are now doing it in our faces.

    There's nothing we can do. We have made this military-industrial corporatist complex into a religion of sorts, and they have addicted us to it - our jobs count on it - and they've basically got our nuts in a vice. They've taken a whole lot already. You can bet they'll take more, and with the witless approval of between 40 and 60% of US citizens, too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      you are 100% spot-on.

      all that will happen - given its the USA - will be as you say. 'yelling and complaining' but no 'teeth' behind it.

      americans (today) won't risk their status quo, such that it is. as long as the TV flows, as long as basic food and entertainment flows, people will grumble but STILL TAKE IT.

      the government knows this and actually counts on it.

      we are screwed. its only a matter of time before we turn into the UK with cameras on every lamp post and 'cso' fake-police running around checking o

  • Some Background (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:36AM (#24858909)

    TRT = the old elected government deposed by the military
    PAD = the wannabe government that called for the military coup

    The leader of PAD owns a TV station (manager TV) this station promotes his cause. He claims to be democratic, but calls on the King and military to take control of the country away from Thaksin Shinawatra and the TRT party. His excuse was 'vote buying'. King said no, that would be undemocratic.

    So Thaksin calls a snap election, says PAD should monitor elections closely, wins easily, but not an outright majority. Goes to King, King tells him, for the sake of unity of country step down anyway, even though you won.

    Thaksin says OK, preps another election without him.

    PAD claims he'll rig election for his successor, suggests maybe he'll do a U turn and not step down. Military decides to have a coup.

    So PAD got it's coup, and the miltary took over, they rewrote the constitution, banned TRT, arrested a lot of its leaders.

    The military leadership was crap, nothing got better, a lot of the allegations against Thaksin evaporated as false. Things they blamed Thaksin for got worse under the army. Especially the muslim insurgency in the south.

    But with TRT banned and leaders locked up, PAD is sure to win right? Right?

    Military ran elections closely monitored by the military and police.

    Old TRT members that were not arrested formed PPP and won the election.

    PAD are seriously pissed off, continue to make ever more serious allegations against the government, call for protests and demonstrations to bring down the government.

    Thailand more divided than ever.

    PAD+ military won't let the government rule, but people won't vote for PAD. The D in PAD stands for democracy, but their leader can't take it when they don't vote for him.

  • by jabithew (1340853) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:49AM (#24859129)

    See here [telegraph.co.uk] (Torygraph via Guido, with relevant thanks). Essentially the issue is that there aren't many pro-EU establishment blogs (because even an ardent Europhile like myself finds it impossible to justify things like the CAP or the fact that the Eurocracy hasn't had its accounts signed off [blogs.com], via the Adam Smith Institute).

    The European Union has already taken corrupt and borderline illegal action to suppress an anti-fraud journalist, Hans-Martin Tillack [wikipedia.org], working for Der Stern, because he had the audacity to protect whistle blowers on the Eurostat scandal [wikipedia.org].

  • "With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?"

    You know, ten years ago I'd have said no way. Now... with ridiculous 'security' efforts, the Dems (yeah yeah, mod me down if you must, it's true) trying to make Big Government regulating absolutely everything and taking away freedoms left and right... Sadly, I do think this is possible. And it scares me.
    • by eean (177028)

      The Democrats drafted the Patriot Act and jammed it through to a vote?

      Blaming Democrats for "taking away freedoms left and right" seems like an old tired story after the last 8 years.

      • You do, I hope, see what Obama wants to do?

        That being said, the Patriot Act sucked and was definitely, along with No Child Left Behind, one of the dumbest things W did. Don't forget, even a lot of hardcore Republicans didn't like him, especially during the second term.
  • Stupid Question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IanHurst (979275)
    "With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?"

    No, and equivocating a place that gets rocked by military coups to the most stable, progressive democracies in the world leads me to think your world view is wildly fucked up.

    The right to criticize the governments of the west tend to have been enshrined in law at the most basic level for decades or even *centuries*. Our right to criticize the governme
  • "do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?"

    "We" already have ... [cnet.com]
    (Don't let the premise fool you)

  • by eean (177028) <{slashdot} {at} {monroe.nu}> on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @10:50AM (#24860209) Homepage

    An important thing to keep in mind is that these latest protests are pro-military, pro-monarchy and anti-democratic. And they actually do threaten the stability of the country and its lawfully elected government.

    Basically the protesters don't like how the election turned out.

    Not saying censorship is the solution, but its kind of hard to judge them as an outsider.

  • I'm not going to make a long post since my title says it all but having a free Internet is the only way to make sure this kind of thing never happens again. For example, if everyone was using freenet, the Thai government wouldn't be able to do a thing.

    Personally, I'm waiting for the "other" one that is a little bit past version 0.6 (they don't want us to name them on slashdot for now, too much publicity). If they could just work faster and get more donations though...

  • Our government may be really, really fucked up because of Republican control of this country, but I'll tell you this right now: If the effing government tosses aside the 1st Amendment so easily and starts shutting down websites just because they don't like them, then it's time for CIVIL WAR in the United States -- because it's all gone to hell at that point, and it's time for the PEOPLE to take the country BACK. Oh, and by the way, Rest Of The World? Kiss you asses goodbye at that point, because everything
  • by rgviza (1303161)

    The Thai government also canes people that vandalize cars, or spit gum on the sidewalk.

    Do you think that the US and European governments will start caning people who vandalize cars and spit gum on the sidewalk?

    -Viz

    • by Boogaroo (604901)

      The Thai government also canes people that vandalize cars, or spit gum on the sidewalk.

      Do you think that the US and European governments will start caning people who vandalize cars and spit gum on the sidewalk?

      Is that better than putting someone in jail, useless to society, and costing us $40,000 taxpayer dollars for vandalizing a car? The punishment cost us more than the car defacement. Seems like the punishment is out of line with the crime.

  • Because they'd shut down my favorite sites with hot pics of Sarah Palin. Grrrr... what a tiger!
  • by AP31R0N (723649) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @01:48PM (#24863033)

    "With web crackdowns like this becoming more and more frequent, do you think we will start to see similar (overt) activities from US and European governments?"

    No.

    Despite the cries from people who read 1984 too many times, we very far from living in a totalitarian state. Bush at his worst doesn't have the kind of power to make this sort of stuff happen. All of our checks and balances and the antagonistic relationships of all the actors between the gov't and commercial enterprise would make such an effort futile, followed by becoming a meme on YouTube or an SNL sketch. Many people seem to think our gov't is something monolithic and centrally controlled. It just isn't. The vast majority of gov't positions are just jobs, not elected or appointed. Most of those jobs are filled by relatively normal people. Not square jawed conspirators. Real life just isn't that interesting.

    If Obama is elected *crosses fingers* the "Patriot Act" will probably go away and many of W's abuses will be uncovered, or at least won't go on. Unless of course the tin foil hat crew is right and both parties work for the Colonel, the Gettys, the Rothschilds etc.

    Or maybe i haven't smoked enough pot/watched enough X-Files.

    Also, the gov't doesn't give a shit about you downloading the anarchist cookbook. You're not that interesting or important. i seriously hope that Obama's election will put and end to the ego-centrism and paranoia of the last 8 years. It's hilarious, but tiresome.

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