Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government News Your Rights Online

Thailand Blocks Anti-Royal Websites 169

Posted by timothy
from the should-internet-take-the-definite-article? dept.
societyofrobots writes "'The Thai government says it is planning to build an Internet firewall to block websites deemed insulting to the country's hugely popular royal family.' In the past, Thailand has blocked YouTube because of a video that criticized the King. While, locally served websites that criticize the king are forcefully taken down, this new law will attack external sites."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Thailand Blocks Anti-Royal Websites

Comments Filter:
  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @02:05PM (#25558473)

    I'll bite before the apologists do that claim it's OK "because it's their culture" or some other nonsense where they try to find a way to justify individuals being oppressed by their government.

    It doesn't matter how many people like the Royalty there. In fact, I would call that blind nationalism--not at all a good thing.

    If the royalty there--and I know someone is going to bring it up--is so good, then why are they allowing/accepting this nonsense to be put into law? Nobody honorable anywhere allows censorship to go on in their name.

    Anyway, especially in this day and age, royalty is at worst a tyranny of one family often with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity, and at best is a grandiose leech on society with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity.

    • by Perseid (660451) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @02:11PM (#25558553)
      The Thai government is similar to the British government. The royalty is respected and influential, but has no actual power. Also, Thailand, like much of Asia, has a freely democratic government but does NOT have inherent freedom of speech like the US does. Movies have to pass a censor board, for example. Violence is apparently okay, but nudity and insults to the king or Buddhism are not.
      • by Abreu (173023)

        Actually, it is said that the Thai king's enormous popularity is because he has always been politically savvy.

        However, his political maneuvers are always behind-the-scenes and therefore nothing can be directly attributed to him, including the last coup.

        His open, public side, is always related to charity events, social and economic development proyects.

        • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @02:50PM (#25559171)

          His open, public side, is always related to charity events, social and economic development proyects.

          And commuting the sentences of people convicted of insulting him.
          Apparently he doesn't have any control over prosecution and conviction, but he can essentially pardon them when it is all over.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Abreu (173023)

            Of course he pardons them!
            That way, the lese-majesty laws stay where they are (stiffling criticism), while the King remains gracious and benevolent in the eyes of the public

            • by Goaway (82658)

              That way, the lese-majesty laws stay where they are (stiffling criticism),

              He really doesn't need to stifle any criticism, you know. He's incredibly popular.

              • Nope, not just incredibly popular, he's insanely popular.
                I would suggest to read up on why he is so popular to most people above the gp, etc.

              • Popular enough to be, well, you know, banning youtube over criticism he doesn't really need to stifle.

                • by Goaway (82658)

                  It's been repeated over and over in this thread, but he is not banning criticism, and doesn't even support the laws in question.

                • by TheLink (130905)
                  But where's the evidence that he's behind the banning? If the Thai Government banned websites that insulted you, it's your fault?
              • by Abreu (173023)

                The King is incredibly popular, and for good reasons.

                However the lese-majesty laws have been used as tools by the right-wing, military juntas of Thailand.

                And, contrary to what some well-meaning thai moderator thought, it is not my intention to troll nor to criticise the King of Thailand.
                On the contrary, I just wish to point out that he is an incredibly intelligent and astute politician, and not just a figurehead, as Perseid posted.

                And for the record, I have visited Thailand in two occasions and I admire the

                • I agree, its bullshit you got modded troll. You pretty much said what I said, just in a direct fashion and I got +5 for it.

          • by mjwx (966435)

            And commuting the sentences of people convicted of insulting him.
            Apparently he doesn't have any control over prosecution and conviction, but he can essentially pardon them when it is all over.

            Technically the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, doesn't have the power to do that but the King is so revered by Thai's that it would be career suicide for any politician or judge that would disagree with him on this matter.

      • by Spasemunki (63473)

        On paper maybe. In practice, the Thai monarchy is able to exert much more significant influence over politics in Thailand than the British monarch. While his 'constitutional' powers are very limited, he has a lot of support in the military and the aristocracy. A lot of observers of Thai politics would tell you that Thaksin Shinawatra lost his job first and foremost because he was challenging certain prerogatives traditionally reserved to the king instead of the elected government. Whenever a democratica

      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        The Thai government is similar to the British government.

        The prime minister Taksin, flees the country and is currently hiding in England while his brother in-law is the current prime minister which corrupt part of that at all is similar to the British government. (Please spare your lame gag about the British government being corrupt, it's not the same at all)

        The scum Thai government is the worse of the worse.

        Just for those who aren't keeping count we're currently on our third prime minister from the same pa

        • by Perseid (660451)

          which corrupt part of that at all is similar to the British government. (Please spare your lame gag about the British government being corrupt, it's not the same at all)

          Wikipedia:

          Thailand - Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
          UK - Parliamentary system and Constitutional monarchy

          A search for Parliamentary democracy redirects to Parliamentary system.

          • by LingNoi (1066278)

            Nice you didn't even quote my whole sentence, how noble of you. Perhaps when you want to quote me in context we can have a better discussion for now:

            1) You didn't answer my question
            2) Just because things are structured the same doesn't make things the same situation. You think the Thai government is like the English government either it's a bad joke are you're so ignorant that it's pathetic.
            3) Wikipedia is a lame source of information.

            • by Perseid (660451)
              Actually, you're the one taking me out of context. I said nothing about the leaders or any members of the government. I said the government itself - meaning the structure - is largely the same.

              And contrary to a lot of public opinion, particularly here on /., Wikipedia is a perfectly fine source for pretty much anything except current event politics. Are you suggesting Thailand is NOT a Parliamentary government?
              • by LingNoi (1066278)

                Also, Thailand, like much of Asia, has a freely democratic government

                and tell me.. In Thailand, who voted for the prime minister? Who voted for the prime minister before him? No one.

                It's not a freely elected democratic government which you make it out to be.

                • by Spasemunki (63473)

                  The elections that Thaksin's party and their successors won were crooked- just like every Thai election before them. However, international monitors claimed that the election was marked by much lower levels of overt corruption than was seen in other Thai elections. Now as a result of the repeated election of Thaksin and his allies by members of the aristocracy, PAD is trying to reduce the electoral representation of rural voters.

                  • by LingNoi (1066278)

                    Answer the question or STFU, You don't answer because YOU KNOW the Thai people didn't vote for this prime minister and they didn't vote for the prime minister before him.

            • 2) Just because things are structured the same doesn't make things the same situation. You think the Thai government is like the English government either it's a bad joke are you're so ignorant that it's pathetic.

              Yeah, but you're showing your ignorance now. There is no English government. Can I suggest you look up "United Kingdom" on that "lame source of information"?

              HAL.

              • by LingNoi (1066278)

                Nit picking words is for the weak who have lost their argument.

                Come back when you have something interesting to say rather then whine about the words English, British and United Kingdom.

        • It presents the Thai people? If that was true it wouldn't be necessary to ever prosecute based upon it because there would be no one to prosecute! :)

          • by LingNoi (1066278)

            The only people who have broken this law are idiot foreigners..

            The last foreigner got drunk, and white washed a billboard of the king, he was deported using this law.

      • by mxs (42717)

        I take it you have never heard of the MPAA and the power which it wields ? It's effectively censorship.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      I'll bite before the apologists do that claim it's OK "because it's their culture" or some other nonsense where they try to find a way to justify individuals being oppressed by their government.

      Other countries look at the USA's insanely high incarceration rate and say the exact same thing.
      Acknowledging cultural differences is not making apologies for them.

      Anyway, especially in this day and age, royalty is at worst a tyranny of one family often with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity, and at best is a grandiose leech on society with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity.

      Welcome to the American political system, where multi-generational dynasties are the norm.

      • I find it fascinating how the leftists always want to disparage the US but then defend any other country doing the same things as "cultural differences"! I guess it's just our culture to invade Iraq and stuff, right? Of course, that won't sit well for you.
        Rape? "Eh, it's just their culture." Murder? "Who are you to force your cultural norms and values upon another people?" Ad naseaum.

        I'm not stupid. I know what sort of premises allow for that stupid kind of thinking--the type that is so democratic, tha

        • First of all, try to stop blaming "leftists" for everything you disagree with, this particular issue has nothing to do with "left" or "right".

          Second, you do realize that in the United States an overwhelming majority could in fact amend the Constitution to mandate [insert ridiculous mandate here], and it would be perfectly legal AND Constitutional.

          This is a country with a National Religion that is prohibiting the desecration of what they hold sacred. Why do you have a problem with that? We're not talking F

          • Insults are free speech.

            • ...and I mean as a principle, not as whatever backwards law they have there.

              Look, I don't really care how many people get their panties in a twist over people saying and doing things that doesn't hurt others. The simple truth is is that this is yet another case where some majority is oppressing a minority due to some backwards belief system. It's not right, and should not be condoned the way some fanatics are doing it here.

              But perhaps they want to instate similar laws here in the USA, once Dear Leader Oba

      • by grahamd0 (1129971)

        Other countries look at the USA's insanely high incarceration rate and say the exact same thing.

        So do a lot of sensible Americans, by the way.

        Anyway, especially in this day and age, royalty is at worst a tyranny of one family often with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity, and at best is a grandiose leech on society with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity.

        Welcome to the American political system, where multi-generational dynasties are the norm.

        I wouldn't say they have eugenical notions of bloodline purity. You can attribute the US system to simple, conscious greed and nepotism.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It doesn't matter how many people like the Royalty there. In fact, I would call that blind nationalism--not at all a good thing. If the royalty there--and I know someone is going to bring it up--is so good, then why are they allowing/accepting this nonsense to be put into law? Nobody honorable anywhere allows censorship to go on in their name.

      I would think that any "anti-insult" law would only serve to render any compliments pointless. It's parallel to the everyone-gets-a-trophy kind of parenting that is
    • Are you so ignorant that you cannot distinguish between:

      1)Prohibiting your family from watching FoxNews/MSNBC because of a political bias you disagree with
      2)Throwing some stranger out of your house because he keeps calling your wife a Cunt.

      You Are Wrong.

  • Ah, so *that's* why they need laws to stop people from saying nasty or critical things about them, its because they're *popular*...

    I understand now.

    Oddly enough we manage in the UK without laws to stop people from insulting the queen. We don't forbid it, and for the most part people don't do it. Strange that....

    • Oddly enough we manage in the UK without laws to stop people from insulting the queen. We don't forbid it, and for the most part people don't do it. Strange that....

      Well, there is one obvious example:

      God save the Queen
      Her facist regime
      They made you a moron
      Potential h-bomb

      God save the Queen
      She ain't no human being
      There's no future
      In England's dreaming

      And sure enough, as far as I can tell, Sid Vicious [wikipedia.org] never got arrested... well, not for sayin' the Queen ain't human, at least.

      • by thermian (1267986)

        Given that the sex pistols version of god save the queen was used by the BBC not long back in a progam related to the royal family, I think you'll find we don't consider that to be particularly bad nowadays :)

    • But you have high profile transvestites calling for canine mastication of her gluteus maximus [auntiemomo.com]. Are you saying you want that to happen to the Thai royal family?!? ;-)
    • "It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen's image upside-down"
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7081038.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    • by Goaway (82658)

      Ah, so *that's* why they need laws to stop people from saying nasty or critical things about them, its because they're *popular*...

      The people support those laws because the like the king and do not want to hear people speak ill of him. He honestly and truly is hugely popular. Go ask any Thai person.

      • And the people are simply wrong. They can chose not to listen to the dissenters if they so wish.

        But many on the far-far-left have a certain affection for dictators or otherwise Top Dogs in power, even if it is symbolic. Why, I don't know. As long as they're "popular"--I guess that appeals to some sort of perverted democratic notion in their head where mob rules.

        • by Goaway (82658)

          You will notice I made absolutely no value judgement on the laws in question. I was merely explaining why, in objective terms, they exist.

          Don't let that stop you from taking potshots at your imagined political enemies, though.

  • Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! [slashdot.org] might have something to say about this.
  • Thailand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jock Kodimar (599124) on Wednesday October 29, 2008 @02:13PM (#25558591)
    Its illegal to disrespect any picture of the royal family that includes currency.

    Get drunk and smash a picture of the king, be prepared to either run or bribe the police.

    So it doesn't suprise me that they do this. Not that it makes it right. For the most part though the Royal family seemed to be well thought of from the people I talked to when I was there in '04. But while being one of the wealthiest people on earth he should be ok with taking a bit of flak.
    • It's not him that really minds, it's 96% of the populace who love him and don't want to hear a bad word about him.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Its illegal to disrespect any picture of the royal family that includes currency.

      It's illegal to deface mint issued currency in any country I have visited, (Australia, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand).

      Get drunk and smash a picture of the king, be prepared to either run or bribe the police.

      Aside from the fact that this is just a stupid thing to do, I doubt I'd get away with getting drunk and smashing a picture of the founding fathers in the US. I'd at the very least be charged with vandalism, that is i

  • What gives guys? There's room for more than one baseball team in Missouri!!!

    Oh, wait. Nevermind.

  • This Thai royal family must have a pretty thin skin, to not be able to take any criticism from anybody.
    • This Thai royal family must have a pretty thin skin, to not be able to take any criticism from anybody.

      As I understand it, the king of Thailand is fairly relaxed about this stuff and often pardons people convicted of lese-majeste offences. It's his fans among the general public who insist that the king should be above criticism. He's apparently very popular.

  • It hits so many different nerves, case-by-case.

    • China: sinister
    • Australia: looney and prudish
    • Thailand: sad and pathetic

    I wonder how the Great Firewall of America will be characterized?

    • by corsec67 (627446)

      I wonder how the Great Firewall of America will be characterized?

      Cops pretending to be 12 year old girls, and then arresting people in person and charging them with "solicitation of a minor", even though there wasn't any minors involved?

      Or the RIAA members suing anyone that uses a file sharing application ex parte, trying to get most of the case over before the defendant has a chance to reply?

    • I wonder how the Great Firewall of America will be characterized?

      Run by the Music And Film Industry Associations, I expect.

  • Until the 1930s, the King of Thailand was officially a God. While all kings and constitutions since have disavowed this view, most Thais still feel that (especially) the current King is more than just a man. He is seen as both a God-like and a father figure. I do not think it is any business of the rest of the world to approve or disapprove of this view. You are talking about something very much akin to a religion.
  • ...but after this post you won't be able to access slashdot, because your Royalty are a bunch of narrow minded horse-raping hermaphraditic dipshits who can't take a bit of criticism

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android

Working...