Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thai Prostitution Ring Broken Up in Seattle and Censorship

This is from a blogger over at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

An interesting e-mail comes from a P-I reader Ann Marie Kimball who's traveling in Thailand:

I am in Bangkok and doing on a Sunday evening what many of us do while travelling abroad ... checking out local Seattle papers for news of home ... only to find while I can access the Seattle Times a notice comes up that the Seattle P-I page has been closed by the Royal Thai police due to "pornography, gambling or issues of national security"

Our best guess is that the P-I has been censored because it's carrying wire stories considered sensitive about the political crisis currently befalling Thailand. But the stories are just generic Associated Press stuff that everyone carries, even the Times.

Could this story by the irrepressable Paul Shukovsky about a local brothel allegedly run by a Thai citizen be considered porn?

Or could the P-I just have been caught up by mistake in some weird Thai dragnet?

Thailand isn't exactly a hellhole for journalists but the government isn't above censoring the media either.

I tried calling a spokesman at the Thai consulate in Los Angeles, but it's closed today. We'll try back Tuesday to see if we can figure out why we're banned.

In the meantime, do you have any ideas?

This was actually a fairly big story in the US. As far as I recall, the local Thai media didn't report on it, or maybe they did and I just forgot with so much other stuff going on.

Is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer being blocked in Thailand?


Asian Sweetheart said...

Not blocked for me. I am in Thailand and I just read the story about the prostitution ring. But the blocking is not consistent. Each ISP has to do it and it seems like they don't all have the same list of sites to block. It is a huge list, tens of thousands of sites.

Unknown said...

Story and blog come up fine on TOT in Thailand.

Fonzi said...


It probably depends on many different circumstances and the ISP.

I doubt there is ban on the story.