MICT: 9,600 ‘offensive’ web pages have been blocked

9,600 web pages have been blocked. The 2007 Computer Crimes Act will be amended to allow Internet Service Providers to immediately block ‘offensive’ web pages on sight or upon complaint without court orders or requests from the MICT, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry says.

In a Manager report on 26 Aug, according to Angsumal Sunalai, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), when contents and pictures deemed offensive to the monarchy are found in the internet, the MICT will request the ISPs to block those web pages, or URLs, and then will ask for court orders to permanently block them. The request for court orders usually takes only one day.

Most of those ‘offensive’ websites have been found to be located abroad, and whenever websites are blocked, new websites can be easily created from anywhere in the world.  The MICT has therefore been vigilant on monitoring the internet.  So far, 9,600 web pages have been blocked, he said.

As for the web-boards of Fah Diew Kan and Prachatai which have been complained for offensive comments, the MICT cannot block them because those comments do not refer to real names, using code names instead.  Those posters of comments can be prosecuted only when they refer to specific names or post obvious pictures, Angsumal said.

To ensure the effectiveness of blocking those ‘offensive’ websites, the MICT has set up a hotline 1212 service to receive complaints from the public.  The 1212 Center is located at the same place as that of the Internet Security Operations Center (ISOC), and can also be reached by email: 1212@mict.mail.go.th.  Currently, the MICT has received complaints on ‘offensive’ contents at the rate of 100 URLs per day.

The 2007 Computer Crimes Act is in the process of being amended, with the MICT trying to change its clause to allow ISPs to immediately block the ‘offensive’ web pages, but it cannot be specified as to when the amendments will be finished, the Deputy Permanent Secretary said.