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Thailand censors Internet for 'national security'


In Thailand where Internet is not yet so developed: broadband Internet and 3G access are still poor, security is lacking but the country is known for its pervasive censorship. Outside Bangkok and major cities, Internet access is extremely slow. On the security aspect, Thailand ranks third on the list of the countries which are most infected with viruses or malware computer. Someone using the Web in Thailand has a 20% chance of finding malware, according to the research firm Sophos.

To fight against cybercrime, Thailand has adopted the 2007 Computer Crime Act, which purpose is mainly to punish computer and Internet crimes such as phishing or hacking. However, this law also covers the control of information and censorship on the Internet and has strong effect on the freedom of speech and action on Internet.

Since the adoption of the Computer Crime Act, more than 80,000 sites have been censored by the Thai police.This law was indeed created with the right aim to punish illegal activities on the Internet, such as data pornographic and pirated addresses that can harm a person, public security or terrorism-related activities.

But it has a strong impact on freedom of expression. It does extend criminal liability to the ISPs and legalize censorship. Between July 2007 and December 2011, 81,000 urls have been closed, whether for libel, criticism against the government or fraud. The application of the 2007 law is sometimes combined with the one of the law against lese-majesty, which can lead to more serious convictions and to penalties which can go of up to 15 years in prison. Some people have been arrested for simply written comments on the role of the monarchy in Thai politics. But the words of the defendants have never published, since it would go against the law ...

Thailand ranks 137th among 179 countries in the 2011-2012 world rankings concerning press freedom released by Reporters Without Borders.

To surf freely and access the sites of your choice in Thailand, you can opt for a VPN. Using a VPN will make your internet connection anonymous, so that even your ISP cannot track your Internet activity: you can access to the sites of your choice, download the content you like and publish what you want, and all this will be done in a secure way.

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