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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Nation Supports the Government on its Draconinan Anti-Democratic Cyber Crime Bill

Today's Nation editorial supports a government bill that would monitor and prosecute anybody who disagrees with its political ideology, in Thailand or abroad. Typically, The Nation can't be honest about its intentions.


In defense of the Cyber Crime Bill:

Contrary to the fears expressed by some-civil liberty advocates, the law is not intended to give authorities too much power to impose censorship, restrict freedom of expression, or infringe on individual rights and privacy. Indeed, the law seeks to enhance individual privacy: under the Computer Crime Act, employers are forbidden from screening or monitoring employees' e-mails without prior notice.

Note how The Nation equates political freedom with employers monitoring e-mails, as if that was the most important aspect of individual freedom. How does not taking an unauthorized peek at employee's e-mails an "enhancement" of privacy? It doesn't enhance shit.

However, the true intention of The Nation's stance in support of this Cyber Crime Bill is to defend the monarchy on the internet:

The law also bolsters the capability of law-enforcement agencies to go after international criminals as well. The law specifies that any criminal act targeting or negatively affecting a person in Thailand will fall into the jurisdiction of Thai law enforcers, who will be able to prosecute wrongdoers regardless of where in the world they committed the crime.


In case you missed the columns concerning the You Tube controversy and The Nation's take on free speech, here are columns written by Thanong and Jeerawat.


What happens when King Bumibol dies and Sia Oh turns out to be a monster? I guess we are all supposed to sit back and have The Nation tell us what to think.

But The Nation doesn't want to stop you just at criticizing the monarchy, but to go after pornographers as well, as if looking at naked people on the internet will destroy civilization as we know it:

Now that the law is in effect, people will have to think twice about such innocuous activities as forwarding e-mails containing information or pictures of other people in compromising positions, or circulating URLs of websites that offer content such as pornography. Senders will now have to consider the impact of this material on others because those forwarding such material can also be prosecuted for infringing on others' rights to privacy.

And here is a key passage, maybe even a psychological Freudian slip, that reveals the mentality of how The Nation manages its operations:

There had been debate about the possible liability of ISPs in cases of criminals using their resources to commit crimes. But the law makes it clear that ISPs who operate their businesses in good faith have nothing to fear. For example, ISPs that take prompt and appropriate action against criminals to stop them from using their networks to commit crimes or take remedial measures will not be prosecuted as accessories to criminal actions.

Well, we all know that The Nation will tow the junta's propaganda line in order to protect its business, and the editors will defend the junta in the name of furthering their careers.

In other words, Suthichai and Thepchai will keep up their anti-Thaksin, pro-junta campaign and, in return, we get to see their delightful mugs and shitty interviews on Thai TV. However, if you don't tow the militarist line, Suthichai, Thepchai, Tulsie, Sopon, Thanong and the others want the Thai police( like they don't have better things to do with their time) to hunt you down wherever you are in the world and prosecute you for your political speech.

Now, The Nation wants to make sure that that Thai cyberspace is criminalized, so that we can all enjoy an internet that is free from naked ladies and anti-monarchy speech. Lovely. It is comforting to know that The Nation, a major media company in Thailand, is taking the sides of the old yentas at The Ministry of Culture, the royalists-militarists, and that old worthless fart Sithichai at MICT.


On a similar note, in today's Bangkok Post, there is an article on how Big Brother wants to monitor your physical activity on the streets of Bangkok. Perhaps this will be as effective as the traffic light system.

11 comments:

hobby said...

Fonzi said: "Now, The Nation wants to make sure that that Thai cyberspace is criminalized, so that we can all enjoy an internet that is free from naked ladies and anti-monarchy speech. Lovely. It is comforting to know that The Nation, a major media company in Thailand, is taking the sides of the old yentas at The Ministry of Culture, the royalists-militarists, and that old worthless fart Sithichai at MICT."

So your on the side of the pornographers and hate speakers?

Given a choice between open slather on the internet and the Ministry of Culture, I will take the old yenta's over the pedaphiles every time.

Bangkok Pundit said...

Hobby: I find it interesting that you find anti-monarchy speech = hate speech and naked ladies = pedophiles. Now, whose mind is warped?

fall said...

...capability of law-enforcement agencies to go after international criminals...

Normally, I would say dont announce a law you cannot impose. But I guess it would sound too oppressive if the law just state "within Thai boundary".

...ISPs who operate their businesses in good faith...

I wonder what is the definition of good faith. Say, if the government "notify" ISP that truethaksin.com (or wikipedia.com) is a threat. Would any ISP want to still risk allowing access? State sponsor self-censorship?

Now that the law is in effect, people will have to think twice about...forwarding e-mails containing information or pictures of other people...circulating URLs of websites...

I thought e-mails and URLs does not solicit into publicly spreading of information? If so, this kind of law would be on par with China. Must look into this.


But one thing is clear, this editorial writer does not know sh*t about law or computer (or may be he just playing dumb).

hobby said...

Pundit: We each make our choices - I would rather live with censorship than have open slather.

When open slather is taken to the extreme my comment about hate speech and pedophiles is not warped - unfortunately it's reality.

Matty said...

I just don't see how it is possible to "criminalize" cyberspace, unless one is a criminal. I despise paedophiles and those who prey on children thru the internet and these are cyberspace criminals of the most despicable breed that need to be pursued and stopped. If the new Thai cyberspace law can do that, then by all means godspeed.

But I disagree on using any cyberspace law, actually any law, that would limit, or restrict, or outrightly outlaw opposing political views (including criticisms of the Thai monarchy) on any subject under the sun.

It would be stupid of The Nation to embrace any law that would limit freedom of speech and the freedom to disagree.

Rich said...

FWIW I now seldom visit the blog. When I began looking in here there were a lot of good comments, bt it appears to have degraded into a Nation-bashing site. There is a lot to criticise about Thailand and the arrogant, racist and not-very-smart Thais Fonzi, how about providing more analysis of the stupidities that abound here? Who knows, people in the government who actually give a shit may be watching.

Both of them.

Rich

ChiangRaiMan said...

It's amazing that so many Thai people are willing to give up their rights so easily. All in the name of conformity. Porn on the internet..oh my. It seems that there is a "massage parlor" on every block in Thailand. You can buy porno dvds at the big department stores in Bangkok along with the rest of pirated software.And heaven forbid someone might disagree with the king or the prince,soon to be king. As the wise old man said long ago..people get the government they deserve.

hobby said...

For me, it's not all in the name of conformity, but rather it's about trying to avoid the extreme negative behaviors that some 'humans' are capable of.


"people get the government they deserve"

In the case of Thailand and most other countries I agree, but try telling that to the people of say Tibet, Burma or Zimbabwe.

fall said...

..."massage parlor" on every block in Thailand.

Ouch.

That got me thinking. Does any blog or site that mention/contain photo of massage girl and parlor would also be chop? It could fall into porn or slander.
Oh yes, slander, there is no sex going on in those room. If there are prostitution, it would be (drum-roll)...illegal!

fall said...

www.bbl.co.th

www.bangkokbank.com

One of the site is in clear violation of the so-called Cyber Crime Bill.
I hope ICT will put the bill to good use and act soon in crack-down cyber crime.

fall said...

Ok, scratch my last comment.
They are both legit...my bad.

Thought it was internet phishing.