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Line, FB, Google urged to censor

Posted by pakin On May - 30 - 2014

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry will once again ask Facebook and Google in Singapore this weekend to cooperate with Thai authorities in blocking provocative articles and posts.

The ministry hopes to secure their cooperation now the country is controlled by a junta. Previous attempts to get the social networking site and internet search giant to remove provocative content when the country was run by an elected government failed.

Pol Maj Gen Pisit Pao-in, an adviser to ICT permanent secretary, said senior ICT Ministry officials will travel to Singapore to discuss the issues with executives of Facebook and Google on Saturday.

The ministry also plans to meet Line’s executives in Japan, he said Thursday after a meeting with representatives of 19 internet service providers.

Pol Maj Gen Pisit admitted he had personally met Facebook and Google’s executives five times, and met Line executives in Japan three times, when he served as commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division. But the discussions failed to yield any results.

“As the ICT authority commanded by the National Council for Peace and Order [NCPO], we hope to get improved cooperation from them,” he said.

The ICT Ministry will ask Facebook and Google to only block provocative content of particular accounts or webpages.

Pol Maj Gen Pisit insisted the ICT and Thai authorities have no intention to block any international internet gateway or social media accounts.

The 50-minute Facebook blackout on Wednesday occurred because traffic to Facebook overloaded the servers and internet gateways of local ISPs, leading to a service disruption, he said.

“The shutdown resulted from a technical problem,” he stressed.

Criticism on other social media outlets erupted after the Facebook blackout from 3.50pm to 4.40pm on Wednesday.

The brief outage came a day after the NCPO said it had set up a panel to monitor internet traffic. However, the coup-makers denied the military played a role in the shutdown.

Pol Maj Gen Pisit also said technical glitches on social networking media sites could happen in any country.

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