Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Is Thailand Blocking You Tube Again?

For some users, YouTube disappears


Some Internet users reported on Wednesday morning that Thai authorities appeared to be blocking the popular video site YouTube, perhaps for the second time in less than a month.The block could not be confirmed. Many users were able to access the site; others said they could not reach it.

An Internet engineer in Bangkok, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the block appeared to be at the main Thailand gateway maintained by CAT Telecom, which claims to have a monopoly on all international Internet traffic.

"All traffic to the CAT Internet providers seems to be blocked at CAT's router," said the engineer. "It doesn't help that they only have two (customers) to begin with."

But most users of one of the two major high-speed Internet services in Thailand were able to reach YouTube as usual as of noon on Wednesday, several hours after other users reported being blocked.

YouTube has many controversial videos concerning Thai politics, but a user uploaded a serious attack on His Majesty the King last Sunday, an act some blamed for the possible blocking of YouTube.

Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, the minister of information and communication technology, promised early this week to block websites he or his staff considered to be pornographic, offensive to the monarchy or a danger to national security.

Blocking YouTube, which has hundreds of thousands of videos, would be highly controversial, even if offensive clips remain on the site. It already has been criticised as throwing the baby out with the dirty dishwater.

In a similar case last month, many Internet users in Thailand claimed they could not reach YouTube because of a block - but others had no problem reaching the site.

As Post Database writer Don Sambandaraksa wrote about the last YouTube partial outage in his column in today's newspaper:

NOTE: link is

"[W]hen something as blatant as censoring YouTube occurred, nobody seems to be responsible for it, or for finding out who did it. The Ministry of ICT (MICT) said it was not their fault while the TOT and CAT also denied responsibility."

I can't get to You Tube also. My Thaksin video isn't showing up. Also, on my websites unrelated to Thailand, the video is being blocked.

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