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Thailand lifts ban on YouTube

12 September, 2007
By Allison Orr

Thai authorities have lifted their four-month ban on YouTube.  The video sharing website was blocked in May by the Communications Ministry for posting images mocking King Bhumibol.

Criticism of the monarchy is a serious crime in Thailand, and can be punished by up to 15 years in jail.  Access to the site was restored only after an agreement was reached with Google-owned YouTube to block any clips the government marks as illegal.

According to Human Rights Watch, censorship of the Internet in Thailand goes wider than just content related to the King, with the Internet being monitored around the clock by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

Also in Thailand, a computer programmer has allegedly been detained in prison in Bangkok for several days under the new Computer Crime Act which came into effect on 18 July.  According to Prachatai, this individual posted comments critical of the monarchy on web-boards using an alias.

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