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Thailand Blocks Anti-Royal Websites

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the should-internet-take-the-definite-article? dept.

Censorship 169

societyofrobots writes "'The Thai government says it is planning to build an Internet firewall to block websites deemed insulting to the country's hugely popular royal family.' In the past, Thailand has blocked YouTube because of a video that criticized the King. While, locally served websites that criticize the king are forcefully taken down, this new law will attack external sites."

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Why Is This In YRO?!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558301)

Unless you are living in Thailand, this story doesn't affect anybody's else rights at all.
Furthurmore, this is just part of the laws of Thailand against insulting the King.

I see nothing wrong with Thailand is doing, its part of their norms, even if they are a bit peculiar to more Western customs.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (2, Insightful)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558503)

If this were the case, /. better stop publishing stories about the Great Firewall of China... considering this is almost exactly the same thing.

Just because it doesn't pertain to America, doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558537)

Just because it doesn't pertain to America, doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

You must be new here.

And by 'here', I mean America.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559471)

You must be new here.

And by 'here', I mean America.

Consider, there are an awful lot of us who've been 'here' (/.) for years, and who think of America as 'there'.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25561107)

f this were the case, /. better stop publishing stories about the Great Firewall of China... considering this is almost exactly the same thing.

Who told you they are the same thing? No one, you just don't like to read I suppose. They are not the same thing The Chinese are blocking access to INFORMATION, the Thais are not even attempting to censor what factual data is available to citizens.

Hey can I come into YOUR house and insult your mother all day? NO? Well you're a facist then aren't you.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563289)

If this were the case, /. better stop publishing stories about the Great Firewall of China... considering this is almost exactly the same thing.

Just because it doesn't pertain to America, doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

Exactly. Considering the tendency of the people in power to justify their proposals as "World's best practice", you have to be aware of what other countries are doing these days.

As an example, I expect someone to try to justify the proposed Australian censorship by claiming that "this hasn't hurt Thailand, why should we do the same for the much more important cause of protecting the kiddies?" And after that, you in the US will be hearing, "Australia does it, why shouldn't we protect our kids too?"

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558547)

Cultural relativism is pretty much complete bullshit. It can be used to justify oppressing people "because it's the cultural norm", especially when those norms are being generated by a tyrant or dictator.

Two words: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559701)

Internet Gambling

A few others for you:

The Pirate Bay

DeCSS

2600.com

Free Speech Zones

Guantanamo Bay

Executive Signing Orders

Libby Scooter

Haliburton

WMDs

Re:Two words: (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560389)

Two words:

So what?

Its not like the parent poster was advocating any of those things. Pointing out someone else's flaws does not diminish your own, and you're a tool for suggesting otherwise.

Re:Two words: (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560403)

National Security Letters

nuance, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25560419)

Cultural relativism is pretty much complete bullshit. It can be used to justify oppressing people "because it's the cultural norm", especially when those norms are being generated by a tyrant or dictator.

Sure. Guess what? Cultural norms are just part of being human, and we all cling to them and tend to enforce them in our communities of interest - even on Slashdot.

Even the assertion that censorship is a form of oppression is based on a cultural norm of freedom of speech. Until someone says something that you think is beyond the pale, like "it is desirable to rape young boys" - yikes. Or maybe "Slashdot is a pile of sh*t and technophiles are morons". Or how about "black people are genetically predisposed to intellectual inferiority". (All of which I disagree with strongly, I hasten to add.)

There are no universal "rights" of humans - we do the best we can to ensure better societies for ourselves, but there may be different paths to th is goal that are equally valid (depending on your measuring stick). The previous poster who pointed out U.S. incarceration rates made this point well, I think.

"Cultural relativism" may have become a bogeyman for the reasons you suggest, but the original notions that have been branded as relativism - including academic specialization in the study of various cultures - have as their premise that we may have something to learn from other cultures. However, some folks believe that exporting our "one true" culture is the only way to make the world a better place. Really?

Re:nuance, please (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560487)

Even the assertion that censorship is a form of oppression is based on a cultural norm of freedom of speech. Until someone says something that you think is beyond the pale, like "it is desirable to rape young boys" - yikes. Or maybe "Slashdot is a pile of sh*t and technophiles are morons". Or how about "black people are genetically predisposed to intellectual inferiority". (All of which I disagree with strongly, I hasten to add.)

Censorship is still a form of oppression, even then. Freedom of speech is only of any use if someone, somewhere, wants to silence you. And it's most truly needed when most people want to silence you. Nobody was ever locked up for remarking on how lovely the weather was today.

Re:nuance, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25560813)

Censorship may be "repressive" in that it violates a freedom for which you believe you have a natural right. So, are laws against theft, murder, vandalism, etc. repressive? I suspect for some extreme libertarians, they are. More to the point, what about laws about hate speech? Is Germany repressive to ban Holocaust-denying speech? Sure, given your premise.

That doesn't mean that society isn't improved by such laws, just as laws against murder are an improvement, IMO. (Again, some would probably disagree even with laws against murder.)

Note I'm not defending the law against insulting the king in Thailand - but I challenge you to invalidate it from first principles without also invalidating some other societal norm that you hold dear. Thus, "relativism".

Re:nuance, please (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562061)

Censorship is always oppressive - there should be no rules against free speech.

Society is free to make rules against speech which it finds offensive, and the individual is free to ignore those rules.

I personally think that Germany is wrong to ban Holocaust deniers - if there is evidence that 6 million Jews died, then produce it.

The repression of skepticism of the Holocaust makes me think that the evidence for it is lacking - if there is evidence, why don't they produce it rather than making doubt illegal?

And yes, I'm against the 'lese majiste' laws in Thailand, because there's no way that some inbred fuckwit has the right to demaqnd respect from proper, well bred people.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563353)

Except in this instance it's not oppression. Go up to any Thai person and call the king an asshole.. Hope you make it out alive..

Go to Thailand and piss on a poster of a king in front of 100 Thai people and a policemen. They'll be 101 wittiness's to your murder but no one would have seen the suspect.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558567)

They should protect the international [globalsecurity.org] reputation [sfgate.com] of their country before the local reputation of their king.

Re:Why Is This In YRO?!!! (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558771)

... and yet, if another country later decides it's okay to use mass filtering or blocking services, they will point to countries like Thailand and China and say "Well, it works for them, why not?".

It's another instance of the fragmentation of the World Wide Web. It will get worse before it gets better.

Take down Slashdot (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558365)

Fuck the king of Thailand, whomever he is.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1, Flamebait)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558673)

I'll 1up yours.

Fuck all royalty everywhere.

They all end up as wormfood anyways. There's nothing special about their blood or some "mandate from the heavens" garbage. They popped out of a female's pussy and they end in the grave. Whoop-de-fuck.

Accepting the idea such as royalty goes traditionally in the belief of "philosopher rulers" who choose the best for everyone. When they die, they get somebody worse off. When they die, you get crony dicatorism. We all can see what that behaves like by looking at Burma.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559665)

There's nothing special about their blood or some "mandate from the heavens" garbage.

There is historically. The "'mandate from the heavens' garbage" is what solidified early governments and got us (well, most of us) out of living in holes in the ground - because they were in a position to be able to institute public works, consolidate languages, and so on. But yeah, now, not so much. The smart ones have since redistributed the power of their monarchy to elected officials.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1, Flamebait)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559727)

Yeah, the US ditched King George and got President George, son of George. Big improvement.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560519)

Yeah, the US ditched King George and got President George, son of George. Big improvement.

Actually, the President George they ditched King George to install was fairly decent for a treasonous rebel blackguard. It's the Presidents George they ended up with a couple of centuries later who aren't worthy of the name.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561003)

You may dislike royalty, but. . . .

God Save the Queen. We mean it MAN!

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562341)

It's not too late for Burma, we can still shave it!

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563073)

It's not too late/if we're brave/Myanmar/Can still be shaved.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558693)

It's some big bald guy. Likes to sing a lot...

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559025)

Didn't he have a somewhat tumultuous affair with his kids' English teacher a few decades ago? I could see why he would want to suppress stories about that sort of thing.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559075)

Yes. Lovely young girl named Anna. Quite the scandal, actually. They buried the story as much as they could, but you can only burst into song so many times before someone's bound to be there with a camera.

Re:Take down Slashdot (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562073)

Shall we dance?

Re:Take down Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25562735)

King of Thailand: FUCK YOU
King of Spain: RETARD
King of Morocco: SON OF MANY MEN
This is tiring and the retards might not understand English...
for(king a : world.kings){
      a.insult(a.country.locale);
}

Re:Take down Slashdot (2, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563433)

Oh look, an ignorant American, "fuck the world and what they believe in we Americans know best".

Here's a suggestion, don't a talk about a country's beloved king if you can't even point that country out on the map.

In before apologists... (3, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558473)

I'll bite before the apologists do that claim it's OK "because it's their culture" or some other nonsense where they try to find a way to justify individuals being oppressed by their government.

It doesn't matter how many people like the Royalty there. In fact, I would call that blind nationalism--not at all a good thing.

If the royalty there--and I know someone is going to bring it up--is so good, then why are they allowing/accepting this nonsense to be put into law? Nobody honorable anywhere allows censorship to go on in their name.

Anyway, especially in this day and age, royalty is at worst a tyranny of one family often with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity, and at best is a grandiose leech on society with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity.

Re:In before apologists... (4, Informative)

Perseid (660451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558553)

The Thai government is similar to the British government. The royalty is respected and influential, but has no actual power. Also, Thailand, like much of Asia, has a freely democratic government but does NOT have inherent freedom of speech like the US does. Movies have to pass a censor board, for example. Violence is apparently okay, but nudity and insults to the king or Buddhism are not.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558933)

Actually, it is said that the Thai king's enormous popularity is because he has always been politically savvy.

However, his political maneuvers are always behind-the-scenes and therefore nothing can be directly attributed to him, including the last coup.

His open, public side, is always related to charity events, social and economic development proyects.

Re:In before apologists... (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559171)

His open, public side, is always related to charity events, social and economic development proyects.

And commuting the sentences of people convicted of insulting him.
Apparently he doesn't have any control over prosecution and conviction, but he can essentially pardon them when it is all over.

Re:In before apologists... (1, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559423)

Of course he pardons them!
That way, the lese-majesty laws stay where they are (stiffling criticism), while the King remains gracious and benevolent in the eyes of the public

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561899)

That way, the lese-majesty laws stay where they are (stiffling criticism),

He really doesn't need to stifle any criticism, you know. He's incredibly popular.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562513)

Nope, not just incredibly popular, he's insanely popular.
I would suggest to read up on why he is so popular to most people above the gp, etc.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562519)

Popular enough to be, well, you know, banning youtube over criticism he doesn't really need to stifle.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563791)

It's been repeated over and over in this thread, but he is not banning criticism, and doesn't even support the laws in question.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562619)

The King is incredibly popular, and for good reasons.

However the lese-majesty laws have been used as tools by the right-wing, military juntas of Thailand.

And, contrary to what some well-meaning thai moderator thought, it is not my intention to troll nor to criticise the King of Thailand.
On the contrary, I just wish to point out that he is an incredibly intelligent and astute politician, and not just a figurehead, as Perseid posted.

And for the record, I have visited Thailand in two occasions and I admire the Thai people's friendliness and warmth.

Re:In before apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559921)

You used to have freedom of speech, but you've traded it for a false sense of security.

Try standing in a park in Washington DC, telling anyone that will listen about the crimes of the administration, and how to organize a non-violent protest.. You're liable to get tazered or shot "for inciting violence" or "on suspicion of terrorism".

Re:In before apologists... (2, Insightful)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560517)

Well, no, that's bullshit.

Living outside of D.C., I assure you that people complain about the crimes about the administration all the time. (And they screw up traffic). Want to complain? Try (random Google search):

http://answer.pephost.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ANS_homepage [pephost.org]

or
http://media.www.dailyorange.com/media/storage/paper522/news/2007/01/29/News/Iraq-War.Peace.Rallies.Washington.D.c.Syracuse.Joins.Celebrities.To.Protest.Bu-2682704.shtml [dailyorange.com]

or any of the other of hundreds of protests for everything under the sun. And counter-protests for the protesters, and counter-counter-protesters. Ad nauseum.

Yes, you have to organize and it has to be peaceful, but they happen all the stinking time. There's not many people listening, to be honest we people who live here are protested-out, but the media will be there to cover you. If you try to stop people from going about their business, yes, you will be arrested, as your protest does not give you the right to prevent other people from ignoring you. But, go right ahead and protest.

Here, let's test it: The Bush Administration Sucks! [waits .... waits ... nope, nobody coming to take me away]. You are simply wrong.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560455)

On paper maybe. In practice, the Thai monarchy is able to exert much more significant influence over politics in Thailand than the British monarch. While his 'constitutional' powers are very limited, he has a lot of support in the military and the aristocracy. A lot of observers of Thai politics would tell you that Thaksin Shinawatra lost his job first and foremost because he was challenging certain prerogatives traditionally reserved to the king instead of the elected government. Whenever a democratically elected government becomes 'too radical'- that is to say, when it starts questioning some of the fundamental assumptions about the structure of the constitutional monarchy or the privileges of the aristocracy- it finds itself the victim of a military coup or a "popular" uprising, like the PAD protests that have been going on for the last several months. PAD is campaigning to reduce the elected representation of the rural population in Thailand, essentially on the grounds that they keep voting for the wrong party. The Queen recently made an appearance at the funeral of a PAD protester killed in clashes with police, which some people hold essentially amounts to the monarchy giving its blessing to street protests organized by some very wealthy Thais (they've threatened a run on the banking system if their demands aren't met) seeking to depose a government that has been popularly elected several times over now.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560749)

Movies have to pass a censor board

According to This Film Is Not Yet Rated [imdb.com] the American Movie Ratings Board censors heavily according to some hidden agenda..

Re:In before apologists... (2, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563657)

But the ratings board is not a government entity nor are ratings legally binding in the US. This is why we see "special unrated" editions of half the movies out there now.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

bsa3 (200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562245)

The UK does have a film censor board [bbfc.co.uk] — fairly mild as such things go, but the government will send men with guns to stop you from selling a movie without a BBFC certificate, so it's a censorship board nonetheless.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563637)

The Thai government is similar to the British government.

The prime minister Taksin, flees the country and is currently hiding in England while his brother in-law is the current prime minister which corrupt part of that at all is similar to the British government. (Please spare your lame gag about the British government being corrupt, it's not the same at all)

The scum Thai government is the worse of the worse.

Just for those who aren't keeping count we're currently on our third prime minister from the same party, the other two were kicked out for corruption and I doubt this brother in-law of the criminal is going to be around much longer either. The brother in-laws sister is also hiding in England on criminal charges of not paying millions of USD in tax to the government for share sales.

The royal family is awesome, you can say what you want about them, but you're all ignorant freedom loving American idiots.

You all have had it all too good, in the US you have your two party government which you complain about all the time. In Thailand it's a one party government with vote buying.

If you protest the government in America you don't get your leg blown off by the police. That's the kind of stuff that's happening in Thailand [bayimg.com] right now. Don't believe me? Look at the images.

Also no one seems to have pointed out that most of Thailand is poor. Most Thai people don't even own a Microwave, forget a computer and internet.

Even then it doesn't matter because this isn't censorship, this is self censorship. If you complain about this then you should also be complaining about moderators on slashdot modding down shit eating, frosty piss, etc. posts.

Ironically this post will be modded down (well.. maybe not now I mentioned it) because it's not popular with the slashdot groupthink of censorship is bad, however it best represents the Thai people.

They don't want to read your ignorant view on their king just as you don't want to read "frosty piss" and "BSD is dead netcraft confirms it", "Obama Osama is a terrorist".

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563931)

which corrupt part of that at all is similar to the British government. (Please spare your lame gag about the British government being corrupt, it's not the same at all)

Wikipedia:

Thailand - Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
UK - Parliamentary system and Constitutional monarchy

A search for Parliamentary democracy redirects to Parliamentary system.

Re:In before apologists... (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558629)

I'll bite before the apologists do that claim it's OK "because it's their culture" or some other nonsense where they try to find a way to justify individuals being oppressed by their government.

Other countries look at the USA's insanely high incarceration rate and say the exact same thing.
Acknowledging cultural differences is not making apologies for them.

Anyway, especially in this day and age, royalty is at worst a tyranny of one family often with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity, and at best is a grandiose leech on society with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity.

Welcome to the American political system, where multi-generational dynasties are the norm.

Re:In before apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25560245)

> Other countries look at the USA's insanely high incarceration rate and say the exact same thing.
> Acknowledging cultural differences is not making apologies for them.

Sometimes it sounds like it. As if the the intent were to deflect discussion or criticism of the subject at hand. I've even had someone argue to me that any criticism of another culture is racist. I don't accept that.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560815)

What do you think the guy you were responding to was doing? He was trying to deflect the issue to criticism of the United States. They do it every single time. Without fail. I anticipated it...

Re:In before apologists... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563863)

What do you think the guy you were responding to was doing? He was trying to deflect the issue to criticism of the United States. They do it every single time. Without fail. I anticipated it...

I am not deflecting the issue towards criticism of the United States.

What I am asking you to do is step outside of the North-American bubble and realize that censorship is normal in large parts of the (un)developed world.

India and China (2.45 out of 6.6 billion people) currently engage in active censorship.
Add in the roughly 1 billion in Africa/Mid-East and now you're well past 50% of the world.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560771)

I find it fascinating how the leftists always want to disparage the US but then defend any other country doing the same things as "cultural differences"! I guess it's just our culture to invade Iraq and stuff, right? Of course, that won't sit well for you.
Rape? "Eh, it's just their culture." Murder? "Who are you to force your cultural norms and values upon another people?" Ad naseaum.

I'm not stupid. I know what sort of premises allow for that stupid kind of thinking--the type that is so democratic, that cultural bigotries where the masses oppress the minority is something to be respected or even cherished. Mob rule is mob rule, no matter what you label as "culture" or not.

Especially when I'm just as critical of this stuff occurring at home. My country, your country, it doesn't really matter to me. I have no loyalties to a flag just because I was born within certain borders.

And multi-generational dynasties are not the norm, although it was seeming to come close with the possibility of Hillary Clinton being nominated. We have nothing even CLOSE to a monarchy. I could see an argument for sort of-oligarchy, but a monarchy? No.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561561)

First of all, try to stop blaming "leftists" for everything you disagree with, this particular issue has nothing to do with "left" or "right".

Second, you do realize that in the United States an overwhelming majority could in fact amend the Constitution to mandate [insert ridiculous mandate here], and it would be perfectly legal AND Constitutional.

This is a country with a National Religion that is prohibiting the desecration of what they hold sacred. Why do you have a problem with that? We're not talking Free Speech here, we're talking about INSULTS. Even in Thailand, factual and/or historical information that may be unflattering to the King is NOT banned, only insults. As in, "Hey tell your FAT MOTHER to stop begging me for sex".

Get it now?

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562533)

Insults are free speech.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562733)

...and I mean as a principle, not as whatever backwards law they have there.

Look, I don't really care how many people get their panties in a twist over people saying and doing things that doesn't hurt others. The simple truth is is that this is yet another case where some majority is oppressing a minority due to some backwards belief system. It's not right, and should not be condoned the way some fanatics are doing it here.

But perhaps they want to instate similar laws here in the USA, once Dear Leader Obama (or McCain?) become president.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562149)

Leftists. What an American word.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562551)

I don't see much of the right-wing apologizing for this kind of stuff, as pitiful as the American right wing is.

A lot of the left wouldn't like it, either. Most of the people whom are OK with censorship laws in other countries tend to be kooks.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562535)

Other countries look at the USA's insanely high incarceration rate and say the exact same thing.

So do a lot of sensible Americans, by the way.

Anyway, especially in this day and age, royalty is at worst a tyranny of one family often with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity, and at best is a grandiose leech on society with weird eugenical notions of bloodline purity.

Welcome to the American political system, where multi-generational dynasties are the norm.

I wouldn't say they have eugenical notions of bloodline purity. You can attribute the US system to simple, conscious greed and nepotism.

Re:In before apologists... (2, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558715)

It doesn't matter how many people like the Royalty there. In fact, I would call that blind nationalism--not at all a good thing. If the royalty there--and I know someone is going to bring it up--is so good, then why are they allowing/accepting this nonsense to be put into law? Nobody honorable anywhere allows censorship to go on in their name.

I would think that any "anti-insult" law would only serve to render any compliments pointless. It's parallel to the everyone-gets-a-trophy kind of parenting that is all too common these days. When everything must be a compliment and a cause for applause, then it becomes impossible to reward exceptional deeds. Now the fact Thailand thinks they need to coddle their king the way a helicopter mother coddles her child, I find to be the worst insult of all.

To The King of Thailand: You should be greatly insulted that your lawmakers think that you are so delicate, that you must be shelter from insults by a law. Do your lawmakers think that you are a frail child that cannot speak or stand up for yourself? Show your people your strength and confidence, repeal the law concerning insults against you and show that you have no fear of your critics and that your people truly love their king.

Re:In before apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559049)

Yes, this 'king' like all in-bred royalty are just a bunch of whiney pussies.

Re:In before apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559257)

I don't think it's about royalty, it's just about self assurance. Prince William seems like he deal with a few insults or even a good punch, and he's a royal. Kim Jong-il isn't royal, but would probably throw a screaming fit if anyone ever tells him that he's wearing women's sunglasses.

Re:In before apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25561607)

Many year ago, when the king was healthy, he appealed to the public many times on television to fix the law. I heard them with my own ears. He said the law made him look weak. It increases his workload because he had to write pardons. It also prevented him from being able to joke with his western friends. He even said if people don't criticize him, there's no way he would know if he's wrong.

His appeal was ignored. Despite my affection for him, I am also one of those who decided to ignore his appeal. Without this law, offenders will be punished arbitrarily by many Thais (who sincerely think of him as their own father.) The jail sentence is a joke compared to what the offenders will get without this law.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562583)

What is it with the reverence for Dear Leader in Thailand, anyway?

Re:In before apologists... (1)

Dahan (130247) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561765)

Show your people your strength and confidence, repeal the law concerning insults against you and show that you have no fear of your critics and that your people truly love their king.

How do you propose he do that? He has no power to repeal laws (or enact them, for that matter). He does have the power to pardon those who are convicted under that law, and has publicly stated that he will do so. In the same speech, he said that he does not agree with the law: Commentary on the speech [nationmultimedia.com] and the relevant portion [nationmultimedia.com] of the speech.

The real reason the lawmakers are keeping the lese majeste law around, despite the king's objection to it, is that it's a powerful political tool. All you have to do is accuse someone of insulting the king, and *bam* they're under investigation. Doesn't matter if there's any evidence or not--they may get acquitted in the end, but you've already gotten the police to hassle them. See this article [bangkokpost.com] for a recent example.

Re:In before apologists... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562565)

Yeah, he gets to double dip. Harass dissenters, then look like the good guy in the end.

Re:In before apologists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25560999)

You apparently lack requisite perspective to comment intelligently on this issue.

The Thai peoples reverence for the royal family is related to the fact that Buddhism is the official national religion, and the King is the Protector of Thai Buddhism. What you're essentially saying is that since Seperation of Church and State work so well for YOU, no other country on the planet should ever be allowed to have a national religion, or have a religious reverence for their leader.

The fact is, factual information is not being blocked here, no matter the topic, and the people of Thailand are as informed as they want to be, and if the majority of them (and we are talking about the OVERWHELMING majority here Mr. Democracy) want insults to their King blocked on the internet, then what what WHAT gives YOU the right to say they cannot?

Re:In before apologists... (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561403)

Are you so ignorant that you cannot distinguish between:

1)Prohibiting your family from watching FoxNews/MSNBC because of a political bias you disagree with
2)Throwing some stranger out of your house because he keeps calling your wife a Cunt.

You Are Wrong.

hugely populer? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558481)

Ah, so *that's* why they need laws to stop people from saying nasty or critical things about them, its because they're *popular*...

I understand now.

Oddly enough we manage in the UK without laws to stop people from insulting the queen. We don't forbid it, and for the most part people don't do it. Strange that....

Re:hugely populer? (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558663)

Oddly enough we manage in the UK without laws to stop people from insulting the queen. We don't forbid it, and for the most part people don't do it. Strange that....

Well, there is one obvious example:

God save the Queen
Her facist regime
They made you a moron
Potential h-bomb

God save the Queen
She ain't no human being
There's no future
In England's dreaming

And sure enough, as far as I can tell, Sid Vicious [wikipedia.org] never got arrested... well, not for sayin' the Queen ain't human, at least.

Re:hugely populer? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558817)

Given that the sex pistols version of god save the queen was used by the BBC not long back in a progam related to the royal family, I think you'll find we don't consider that to be particularly bad nowadays :)

Re:hugely populer? (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558719)

But you have high profile transvestites calling for canine mastication of her gluteus maximus [auntiemomo.com] . Are you saying you want that to happen to the Thai royal family?!? ;-)

Oh really? (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560077)

"It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen's image upside-down"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7081038.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:hugely populer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25560125)

Based on my experiences in Thailand and with Thais in the US, I would expect the number of Web sites critical of the Thai king to be far fewer than those critical of the UK monarchy. UK residents just seem to be apathetic about their royals.

Love for the king among Thais is scary and extreme. I think it's the overwhelming love for the king, rather than a large opposition, that drives this sort of policy. There may be only a tiny number of people in the world who are critical of the Thai royalty.

My suspicion is that various political groups in Thailand want to win support from people by appearing to be more pro-monarchy than other groups. Banning anti-royal sites is a way of proving their love.

Re:hugely populer? (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561833)

I was in Thailand this winter, and the affection in which he is held is quite amazing. River boats with lights that spell out (in English, so presumably for foreigners) "We love our king". Ordinary people on the streets wearing a T-shirt with his picture on it, often with a slogan like "long live the king".

Every mile or so on the road there will be a picture of somebody in the royal family.

The really amazing thing is I saw no indication that it was forced or calculated - it seemed to be genuine.

Re:hugely populer? (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562631)

Everyone can learn to love Big Brother, too...

Re:hugely populer? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561967)

Ah, so *that's* why they need laws to stop people from saying nasty or critical things about them, its because they're *popular*...

The people support those laws because the like the king and do not want to hear people speak ill of him. He honestly and truly is hugely popular. Go ask any Thai person.

Re:hugely populer? (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562663)

And the people are simply wrong. They can chose not to listen to the dissenters if they so wish.

But many on the far-far-left have a certain affection for dictators or otherwise Top Dogs in power, even if it is symbolic. Why, I don't know. As long as they're "popular"--I guess that appeals to some sort of perverted democratic notion in their head where mob rules.

Re:hugely populer? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563807)

You will notice I made absolutely no value judgement on the laws in question. I was merely explaining why, in objective terms, they exist.

Don't let that stop you from taking potshots at your imagined political enemies, though.

Thailand (4, Interesting)

Jock Kodimar (599124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558591)

Its illegal to disrespect any picture of the royal family that includes currency.

Get drunk and smash a picture of the king, be prepared to either run or bribe the police.

So it doesn't suprise me that they do this. Not that it makes it right. For the most part though the Royal family seemed to be well thought of from the people I talked to when I was there in '04. But while being one of the wealthiest people on earth he should be ok with taking a bit of flak.

Re:Thailand (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562543)

It's not him that really minds, it's 96% of the populace who love him and don't want to hear a bad word about him.

Thais are easy to troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25558755)

I accidentally discovered this on YouTube a while ago. Say something about their king and you get a hundred Thais flooding your Inbox telling you to apologize "or else". lol, or else what?

Re:Thais are easy to troll (1)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560239)

Or else they'll just have to get over it. And you won't like them when they get over it.

Those damned Cardinal Fans! (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25558915)

What gives guys? There's room for more than one baseball team in Missouri!!!

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Wow. (1)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25559419)

This Thai royal family must have a pretty thin skin, to not be able to take any criticism from anybody.

Re:Wow. (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560399)

This Thai royal family must have a pretty thin skin, to not be able to take any criticism from anybody.

As I understand it, the king of Thailand is fairly relaxed about this stuff and often pardons people convicted of lese-majeste offences. It's his fans among the general public who insist that the king should be above criticism. He's apparently very popular.

Re:Wow. (1)

Dahan (130247) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561815)

As I understand it, the king of Thailand is fairly relaxed about this stuff and often pardons people convicted of lese-majeste offences.

He has always pardoned them, in fact. He doesn't like the law and says it only causes him trouble. Unfortunately for him, he's just the king, and and isn't a position to do anything about it.

Re:Wow. (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562553)

You and merin are 100% correct.
My fiance is thai, so I've gotten to know their culture quite well :)

Re:Wow. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25562689)

A man of such influence having his own pleas ignored? I have a feeling there is some behind-the-scenes action here.

Anyway, to even remain a king, to even have a position of power and wealth (that isn't really even yours) isn't exactly a sign of humility. If I was royalty I'd reject the position as being bogus.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25563805)

But you're not, most of you're posts even have been the same over and over Mindless (your nick fits you well).

You're an ignorant dickhead who, even after listening to tons of people on this site still can't believe that it's the people who want this.

Why should the vaste majority of the people have things YOUR way? What makes your way of doing things so special?

If slashdot was run by you we'd be overwhelmed in shit eating, goatse.x posts because you didn't want to censor anyone.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're going to tell me bush did 9/11 in a minute because that's how paranoid you are.

Nice! Now if only China would do the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25559977)

It's much nicer if their firewall blocks attacks rather than mine. If I can lower my bandwidth and defend my systems (in part) merely by posting a web page that says "The Thai Royalty sucks!" (or "The Chinese Government Sucks!), then I'd do so immediately.

Internet Censorship (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560091)

It hits so many different nerves, case-by-case.

  • China: sinister
  • Australia: looney and prudish
  • Thailand: sad and pathetic

I wonder how the Great Firewall of America will be characterized?

Re:Internet Censorship (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560353)

I wonder how the Great Firewall of America will be characterized?

Cops pretending to be 12 year old girls, and then arresting people in person and charging them with "solicitation of a minor", even though there wasn't any minors involved?

Or the RIAA members suing anyone that uses a file sharing application ex parte, trying to get most of the case over before the defendant has a chance to reply?

Re:Internet Censorship (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25560429)

I wonder how the Great Firewall of America will be characterized?

Run by the Music And Film Industry Associations, I expect.

Some relevant background (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561297)

Until the 1930s, the King of Thailand was officially a God. While all kings and constitutions since have disavowed this view, most Thais still feel that (especially) the current King is more than just a man. He is seen as both a God-like and a father figure. I do not think it is any business of the rest of the world to approve or disapprove of this view. You are talking about something very much akin to a religion.

Re:Some relevant background (1)

youngone (975102) | more than 5 years ago | (#25561859)

Oh, well if they believe he's a god, we'll just have to respect their stupid belief then I suppose.

From Rude Bastards Ltd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25562613)

The Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej enjoys shaving donkeys all over, then sucking on their balls.

He wanks himself several times a day to pictures of pigs wearing men's trousers.

All the food he has ever cooked has tasted bad, and any dish that is named after him will taste bad.

His hair is really a wig made from the butt hair of camels.

He is a very poor photographer; in fact, if he even tried, he would hold his finger over the lens and be ridiculed.

All the holes in his teeth are especially deep, and he smells strangely.

sorry thai slashdot readers (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25563923)

...but after this post you won't be able to access slashdot, because your Royalty are a bunch of narrow minded horse-raping hermaphraditic dipshits who can't take a bit of criticism
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