Lese Majeste in Thailand- please understand how to use the Internet within the law

My Public Service Announcement- understand the laws and rules, mind what you say, click and like while in Thailand to visit or stay. Be careful, you can end up in jail for “liking” something on Facebook or following someone on Twitter….no joke, see below.

This from the Bangkok Post, with entire article found here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/272260/centre-starts-monitoring-lese-majeste

Centre starts monitoring lese majeste
Public advised on how to browse within law

Published: 24/12/2011 at 12:00 AMNewspaper section: News
The centre for monitoring lese majeste websites is offering advice to Thais on what to do and not to do when browsing the internet.

The centre, which will run 24 hours a day, has opened on the third floor of the Royal Thai Police headquarters.

Bringing together the country’s top police, it will be headed by the deputy commander of the technology crime suppression division, Pol Col Siripong Timula.

The first advice the centre gives the public is: Do not forward, send a link or revisit websites – including Facebook, Twitter or YouTube – with lese majeste content. Those who do so can be regarded as supporting such websites.

“Never press ‘Like’ in Facebook or click ‘Follow’ on Twitter,” said Pol Col Siripong.

“If you Google certain key words such as ‘King Thailand’ and come across indecent content, do not activate the link because browsing those websites can upgrade the ranking of those lese majeste sites, eventually pushing them to the top of the list.”

He suggested the public check in to such websites as http://www.weloveking.com and http://www.welovekingonline.com.

On Dec 7, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra named an executive committee to oversee “illegal information sharing” through communications technology. The committee, headed by deputy prime minister Chalerm Yubamrung, comprises 22 high-ranking officers – the permanent secretaries of defence, foreign affairs, justice, interior and ICT, secretary-generals of the National Security Council and Drugs Control Commission, police chiefs and national intelligence agency directors.

Mr Chalerm asked committee members to send their ICT staff to man the 24-hour centre so they can trawl the internet and catch websites with lese majeste content.

He said his committee has set up three sub-committees to accelerate surveillance work.

The government has no intention to change the controversial Article 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law, which some critics say discourages freedom of speech, Mr Chalerm said. “This committee will never amend Article 112 and I see no point in talking about this issue any further. If anyone wants to launch an amendment proposal by collecting 20,000 signatures as allowed by law, let him do it,” he said.

“But it will not be easy. There’s no guarantee it [the proposal] will become law if the amendment does not benefit society as a whole.”

Senior police officers will chair the three sub-committees.

National police adviser Pol Gen Worapong Chiewpreecha will chair the one on web monitoring. Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Panupong Singhara na Ayudhaya will take the one verifying lese majeste content, while Pol Gen Ek Angsananont, national police adviser, and Pol Gen Pansiri Prapawat, deputy police chief, will co-chair the panel on investigation.

Pol Gen Worapong said the committee would accelerate the process of obtaining court orders to block websites, because all agencies are now working together under one roof.

“Usually, it takes a week for the ICT and police to gather information and for the ICT minister to file for a court order. Now they can do it within one day,” he said.

Pol Gen Worapong, who also serves as secretary-general to the lese majeste web closure executive committee, said people who come across inappropriate websites can alert authorities at http://www.police.go.th or http://www.mict.go.th or file an anonymous complaint at: index – complaint.

About faranginbangkok

I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally, I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region. I moved to Singapore in 2016...fallen behind on this blog since.
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