Thailand scraps “Great Firewall” plans

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thailand-internet-great-firewallThailand’s ruling junta has scrapped a single gateway Internet initiative that critics termed “The Great Firewall” after negative feedback and activist protest from net users across the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripituk told reporters on October 15 that the government has decided to abandon the initiative, claiming that the project has just been under consideration and has never been finalised.

The plan, approved by Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha in August, was to consolidate Thailand’s current ten Internet gateways into one central government-controlled point. It has been one of the government’s least popular ideas since it came to power following a coup d’etat last year.

Critics had warned that uniting all Internet services under a single gateway would allow the military government to monitor and spy on content as well as blocking websites it deems subversive. Some also feared the proposal would destroy competition and was reminiscent of the most authoritarian measures to stifle free speech.

The plan also triggered concern that Internet speeds would plummet, which would almost certainly hurt online business and anger Internet users.

The government, meanwhile, had argued that the plan was necessary to “protect Thailand against unwanted content” and to restrict Thai youth from accessing unwanted material.

However, earlier this month, thousands of Internet users were reported to have flooded government websites in an effort to force the pages to crash by exceeding their bandwidth capacity. Websites belonging to the Ministry for Information and Communication Technology, the Ministry of Defense and of Government House were overloaded and left unavailable by the sheer numbers of users trying to access them.

“We will not talk about this any more. If we say we won’t do it, we won’t do it,” Somkid said.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand’s ruling junta has scrapped a single gateway Internet initiative that critics termed “The Great Firewall” after negative feedback and activist protest from net users across the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripituk told reporters on October 15 that the government has decided to abandon the initiative, claiming that the project has just been under consideration and has never been finalised.

The plan, approved by Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha in August, was to consolidate Thailand’s current ten Internet gateways into one central government-controlled point. It has been one of the government’s least popular ideas since it came to power following a coup d’etat last year.

Reading Time: 1 minute

thailand-internet-great-firewallThailand’s ruling junta has scrapped a single gateway Internet initiative that critics termed “The Great Firewall” after negative feedback and activist protest from net users across the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripituk told reporters on October 15 that the government has decided to abandon the initiative, claiming that the project has just been under consideration and has never been finalised.

The plan, approved by Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha in August, was to consolidate Thailand’s current ten Internet gateways into one central government-controlled point. It has been one of the government’s least popular ideas since it came to power following a coup d’etat last year.

Critics had warned that uniting all Internet services under a single gateway would allow the military government to monitor and spy on content as well as blocking websites it deems subversive. Some also feared the proposal would destroy competition and was reminiscent of the most authoritarian measures to stifle free speech.

The plan also triggered concern that Internet speeds would plummet, which would almost certainly hurt online business and anger Internet users.

The government, meanwhile, had argued that the plan was necessary to “protect Thailand against unwanted content” and to restrict Thai youth from accessing unwanted material.

However, earlier this month, thousands of Internet users were reported to have flooded government websites in an effort to force the pages to crash by exceeding their bandwidth capacity. Websites belonging to the Ministry for Information and Communication Technology, the Ministry of Defense and of Government House were overloaded and left unavailable by the sheer numbers of users trying to access them.

“We will not talk about this any more. If we say we won’t do it, we won’t do it,” Somkid said.

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