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Thailand Shuts Down 43,000 More Websites 166

An anonymous reader writes "Bangkok Post reports that the Thai government has now shut down over 43,000 websites deemed defamatory to the royal institution. Thai ISPs are warned to cooperate 'voluntarily' or lose their license. This is in addition to 17,000+ that were recently blocked for 'national security,' including both Facebook and Twitter accounts."
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Thailand Shuts Down 43,000 More Websites

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  • Re:Bangkok renamed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Morth ( 322218 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:13AM (#32610618)

    Interestingly, Bangkok is only the international name, in Thai it's called Krungthep.

  • Re:Bangkok renamed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:01AM (#32610778)

    Actually the real full name of bangkok is
    Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit
    it means
    The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarma

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:40AM (#32610924)

    Apparently there were a number of PMs in the last few years who have been sacked for one reason or another, and the only one who wasn't tossed out was the one that the King put into power himself

    This is inaccurate. Thailand is a nation that has had as many coups since 1932 as the US has had elections.

    The King has not put a single PM into power in recent years. Most are removed via political jockeying from their opponents. The only Thai PM to complete his term was Thaksin Shintrawa (sp) and he was ousted for corruption in his second term by a military coup (Thailand is a third world nation, did you expect political stability). Most coups/oustings are simply attempts by one political party, not in power to gain power. Thaksin is far from innocent (who is), he is the main driving force as well as the bankroll of the recent political unrest in Bangkok.

    Thailands biggest political forces are the rich families like the Nana family. Mostly ethnic Chinese, which is a major division between the rich and the poor, who are mostly ethnic Thai. Most of the unrest is caused by these power-brokers.

    The King is about the only stable political force in Thailand, this is mainly because the King rarely speaks about politics. I'd hate to think how bad things will get when the King dies (and I doubt this will be too long). The last demonstration saw Silom burn and 50 people killed.

  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:52AM (#32610982)

    They make between 900,000 and a million automobiles a year, have a diversified economy and are a net food exporter.

    "Thailand has a GDP worth 8.5 trillion Baht (on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis), or US$627 billion (PPP). This classifies Thailand as the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Despite this, Thailand ranks midway in the wealth spread in Southeast Asia as it is the 4th richest nation according to GDP per capita, after Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia."

    They have a million person military with advanced fighters like the F-16 block 50 and Saab/BAE Gripen

    The UN classifies them as Developing, where the classic "third world country" is an under developed country.

    Really the only thing that links all the under developed countries to the classical Cold War "third world country" is that all third world country demand and receive Western aid.

  • Re:Kings and Queens (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:59AM (#32611016)

    The President of the United States can not declare war.

    The United States Congress declares war.

    So...George Bush didn't declare war on Iraq or Afghanistan, the United States Congress voted for the use of force (the new PC way to declare war here).

    For Iraq the law is...

    The Iraq Resolution or the Iraq War Resolution (formally the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, Pub.L. 107-243, 116 Stat. 1498, enacted October 16, 2002, H.J.Res. 114) is a joint resolution (i.e., a law) passed by the United States Congress in October 2002 as Public Law No: 107-243, authorizing the Iraq War.

    For the Afghan War and the Global War on Terror the law is...

    The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (Pub.L. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224, enacted September 18, 2001

  • Re:Kings and Queens (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2010 @06:11AM (#32611056)

    The president of the USA can declare a war. Personally.

    Untrue. Article I Section 8 of the US Constitution give Congress the power to declare war. Nowhere is the president given this power.

    The problem is that Congress is more than happy to allow the president to walk all over them, as long as they're the same party. Congress is not actually allowed to delegate its powers to the president (generally speaking), but there's nothing stopping it from doing whatever the president wants, assuming his party is single-minded and acts as foot-soldiers in his army.

    Historically, of course, the president has been able to do whatever the fuck he wants by not calling it "war". Witness the Korean War, for example, which was never declared by Congress. The War Powers Resolution is an attempt to rein the president in, but since Congres is generally a bunch of weak-willed jackasses, it hardly matters what they do. The president does what he wants and Congress falls all over itself to slob his knob.

    The issue, really, is not with what the US Constitution says; it's with what happens in reality. The president cannot declare war. But he does, more or less, and who's going to stop him? The people are, by and large, idiots. They are too stupid to think things through. Remember September 11, 2001? The people got scared, cuddling up to Daddy Bush for comfort. When the people are scared, Congress gives them whatever they want, because if Congress shows backbone, they'll get voted out. Therefore the president gets what he wants. Hell, it doesn't even matter if you're not in the same party in some cases. Which Democrats in the Senate voted against the ridiculously stupid Iraq War (2002)? Not the majority, I'll tell you that.

    I don't deny that the US has a rather fucked up political system. But the fault lies in democracy, not (I would argue) in the configuration of the country. There's only so much you can do when you have to rely on morons to choose who gets to try to muck things up next. You can try to minimize the damage, but then you risk people realizing that they're losing the ability to choose which idiot comes next.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2010 @06:15AM (#32611068)

    I surf everyday and haven't run into a blocked web page since 2006 when youtube was banned. Also we're with ToT and bit torrent is fine here.

    If slashdot gets banned because of this non-news you guys can all go suck a dick.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2010 @06:27AM (#32611090)

    The only paedophiles in Thailand are americans []

  • Re:Bangkok renamed (Score:5, Informative)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @06:56AM (#32611184)

    Does Krungthep say, in Thai, anything about banging cocks?


    In Thai the correct connotation for that is "jack wow" or "chuck wow" depending on your accent. It means to "fly (your own) kite".

  • No, not yet. (Score:3, Informative)

    by interactive_civilian ( 205158 ) <{mamoru} {at} {}> on Friday June 18, 2010 @06:57AM (#32611186) Homepage Journal

    It's not blocked yet. I live in Bangkok.

    Oddly, most of the sites I come across that are blocked are porn sites, and not many of them (i.e. it's not difficult to access porn as most sites are not blocked).


    I mean sites that my friend comes across. Yeah, that's the ticket. Anyway, the blocks are easily avoided by proxy services, and they are really slow about blocking those. Although, has recently (in the past few months) come under the block list.

  • It's not so bad... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mathimus1863 ( 1120437 ) on Friday June 18, 2010 @07:13AM (#32611250)
    ...and I should know since I've traveled there many times and I even speak .

    Thailand gets a worse name than it deserves, based on stories like this. It's actually a relatively open society and just about every development index has them at the top of "developing country" (if they could clean up their tap water, they'd probably break the threshold). Speech is only limited when it comes to the King and Buddha, both of which are highly respected, but not really "in power" (influential, but not making and enforcing laws). Of course, that doesn't make their censorship ethical, but it shouldn't be considered to be an oppressive government.

    There's an an ounce of justification to the recent violence, but most of it came from the rural poor with nothing to lose, fighting for the one PM who stood up for them. Unfortunately, that politician that tried to help out the poor (Thaksin Siniwatra), accumulated no less than $2.2 billion while in office, and accused of countless corruption charges (convicted on a couple of them in absentia while he living in exile). Many poor refuse to admit he's corrupt, or say "well sure he is, all the politicians are, but at least he helps out the poor that desperately need it." The situation really is a mess, with no clean way to bridge the gap between the poor and the middle+ class. While they have some political instabilities right now, I would still consider it to be the most awesome place on Earth (where else can you go that has virtually no violent crime, you can get 1 hour Thai massage for $4 and the best Pad Thai ever for $0.50?).

    I think that the monarchy will be phased out soon anyway, as the King's health is waning and the crown prince is not very well liked, despite the lese mejeste laws. But make no mistake, despite such laws, the king was justifiably considered a "benevolent dictator." He is an engineer, and used his skills to plan and update infrastructure in the country to help out both the rich and the poor. There was actually reason to like him.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2010 @08:46AM (#32611748)

    @"It's a rather weird suggestion as the internet was designed by a government agency."

    What you say is a blatant straw man argument. He was talking about using the Internet to resist government oppression then you turn it around to then ridicule your twisted version of what he said.

    Not only should the Internet have been designed to be more resistant to oppressive governments, people should learn to be more resistant to Machivalian two faced manipulation tactics like your blatant straw man argument, because governments also use such tactics to seek to distract and undermine people away from what is being discussed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 18, 2010 @09:35AM (#32612156)

    So much respect that 43,000 websites exist that defame him.

    And actually, everyone loves him because those who don't have been sent away to prison in secret trials.

    Ask around, if a Thai trusts you with the truth, you'll be surprised how many don't actually like him.

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