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Thailand Cracks Down On Twitter, Facebook, Etc.

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the and-everybody-loves-the-king dept.

Censorship 130

An anonymous reader writes "The ongoing poitical turmoil in Thailand has inspired the country's Ministry of Information, Computers, and Telecommunications to issue a stern warning that all users of the Internet in Thailand must 'use the internet in the right way or with appropriate purpose and avoid disseminating information that could create misunderstanding or instigate violent actions among the public', that 'all popular websites and social networks such as facebook, twitter, hi5 and my space [sic] will be under thorough watch,' and that 'Violators will be prosecuted by law with no compromise.' Thailand has draconian anti-lèse majesté laws which are routinely abused in order to settle political scores and silence dissent, and recently implemented a so-called 'Computer Crimes Act' which appears to be almost solely focused on thoughtcrimes and censorship, rather than dealing with, you know, actual crime. Several Web forums have recently been shut down, their operators charged because they failed to delete 'harmful posts' quickly enough to suit the Thai authorities."

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Never gonna happen. (1)

nephilimsd (936642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849398)

China has been trying to censor the internet for years to dissuade it's population from rebelling. I recall an earlier post today that basically indicates that the more the government tries to oppress freedom of speech, the more clever those with drive will become to avoid such measures. I feel somewhat sorry for Thailand citizens, who will end up paying for an ultimately futile goal.

Re:Never gonna happen. (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849496)

I recall an earlier post today that basically indicates that the more the government tries to oppress freedom of speech, the more clever those with drive will become to avoid such measures.

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

Re:Never gonna happen. (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852134)

I recall an earlier post today that basically indicates that the more the government tries to oppress freedom of speech, the more clever those with drive will become to avoid such measures.

It's nothing new.

China and Thailand are not the only ones doing this thing to their people.

Malaysia is doing that too.

In fact, they haul people to the slammer for "violating laws" - whatever trump up laws they can charge with, to people who dare to criticize the racist regime that is controlling Malaysia.

Just in case you don't know, Malaysia is the only country in the world practicing legal Apartheid. And it's worse than the one that used to be practiced in South Africa.

In South Africa it's the majority (the Blakcs) who were being oppressed so that the minority (the Whites) can get to enjoy.

In Malaysia it's the other way around. It's the minority that has to work and work and work so that the majority can get to enjoy everything - their free breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus free education till they drop.

Malaysia's "Apartheid" (1)

bnjf (207794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854680)

Are you referring to Bumiputera [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Never gonna happen. (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856760)

The situation there is not as it's represented in the summary. I lived through Thaksin's rise and fall, and I just moved from Bangkok (where most of the protests are) a week or so ago.

Thaksin was probably the most corrupt PM in Thailand's history (that was a difficult record to break). The only reason he has the support of 90% of the geographic area of Thailand is because of all the pork barrel projects he shoved there -- free money, special programs, whatever. Imagine the President of the U.S. buying popularity by artificially propping up the economy in the midwest and south.

When he was ousted in a bloodless coup four years ago, the instigators (the army) immediately started making movements toward giving up power and restoring democracy. Coups aren't rare in Thailand. They happen about every ten years. The straw that broke the camel's bank was when Thaksin started claiming himself to be equal to the king, which upset a lot of people.

During elections, Thaksin's old party, Thai Rak Thai (Thais for Thais??) was disbanded, but a puppet party was created, and his brother-in-law won the election. Thaksin asked to return to Thailand and agreed never to seek re-election. Except he has been doing that ever since. He also calls for the removal of the King by whatever means necessary (He uses the phrase "Amart" in order to be obtuse and not name names, but everyone knows who he's talking about). It's like Tony Blair calling for the removal of the Queen. She's got no power. She's just a figurehead. What's the point?

The summary also mentions lese-majeste, and claims that it's being (ab)used often. It's not. The king is a pretty apolitical figure, and the law is rarely used. Let's see how the monarchy distances itself: Once the anti-Thaksin crowd seized on the royal color, yellow, for their "gang colors'" the royal color was promptly switched to pink. A year later, and the yellow-shirts started wearing pink. The royal color changed again.

The monarchy in Thailand really is a moderating force in a sea of corruption in Thailand. The red Shirts are using cell phone bombs and the like. The army is pushing back. It's guaranteed to end up like Sri Lanka if it doesn't let up soon.

It's really got nothing to do with the King or lese-majeste, other than crap politicians using him as talking points.

p.s. Frank Anderson doesn't even understand enough to know that people switching from Thai to Chinese in front of him isn't about the Thai government being "beholden to China": it's about keeping him out of the conversation by switching to a language he doesn't understand. His characterization of the Yellow Shirts as "pro-democracy" is equally laughable and is probably the result of spending all his time in Korat, deep in Thaksin country.

I'm neither pro-Thaksin nor pro coup. I find all this shit disastrous for Thailand, the Thai people, and the economy.

Re:Never gonna happen. (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849896)

I recall an earlier post today that basically indicates that the more the government tries to oppress freedom of speech, the more clever those with drive will become to avoid such measures.

I do suddenly have an urge to register Bhumibol-Adulyadej-can-go-Phuket.com on behalf of the people of Thailand. But I wouldn't call it clever, really.

Re:Never gonna happen. (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850298)

I lived there in 2004/5 - I remember surfing the Web and hitting police pages with a stern warning (in Thai) that the site I wanted was blocked, complete with a cartoon of a pissed-off looking cop.

The first time I saw it, I was a bit frightened (you never know how the Thai cops will respond to foreigners).

Re:Never gonna happen. (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856776)

Porn? That's the only kind of site I've seen like that. I used to get the warnings in Korea, too. Fuck morality laws.

Re:Never gonna happen. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850690)

It is not futile if the majority of people do not care enough about freedom of speech to put in effort to evade the filters. Generally, censorship works best to keep fringe positions at the fringe.

Hardly apples and oranges (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31851940)

You are right that censorship in general doesn't exactly have a track record of success, but you are comparing 2 very different situations (Thailand vs China)

You may not be aware of it, but Thailand is currently undergoing something between mass civil disorbedience to a a full-scale revolution. They declared state of emergency (which bans the gathering of 5 or more people, among other things) and deploying soldiers in the capital, soldiers are firing live rounds in addition to tear gas and the typical crowd control devices, and protesters have stormed parliament buildings and news station among other thing. It isn't civil war yet but it definitely is a crisis. The present level of censorship is meant as a short-term measure to weaken the protesters' ability to organize and spread information during what is essentially a combat zone.

Personally, between the government is banning any gathering of people and taking news stations off the airwaves and armies being deployed and armed clashes with hundreds of people dead or injured, there is a bigger issue than some forums being shutdown.

Re:Hardly apples and oranges (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855270)

Almost correct. It is the protestors that are firing live rounds at the police. I suggest everyone to read more about the situation that happened a few days ago where a lot of police and bystanders were killed by protesters that refused to stop blocking the streets.

A lot of police have died because the protest leaders can't control their more violent members. However that doesn't mean they're not to blame since they've been lying to their followers about the government.

The whole protest is about getting the old prime minister (who is currently living outside the country to escape a 2 year prision sentence for corruption) back into power. You'll notice they mention democracy however it's total bullshit. The current prime minister sat down with the protest leaders and offered them an election in 9 months.

Also this isn't the first time these protestors have been so violent they were burning buses last april too.

So is it bad that the government doesn't want these assholes spreading their bullshit across the internet? Juding from the one sided summary, no.

Ah, Thailand. (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849400)

Awesome food, bad government, traps, and Sagat. What haven't you given to the world??

Re:Ah, Thailand. (4, Insightful)

Nasajin (967925) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849524)

What haven't you given to the world??

A freely communicating populace, with the right to self-determination.

Re:Ah, Thailand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31851852)

Coz, y'know, the western world has been producing those like hotcakes in recent history.

Re:Ah, Thailand. (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856812)

"Self-determination" in Thailand means selling your vote for two beers.

Re:Ah, Thailand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31849994)

Maybe the creators of Street Fighter 2 had it right in choosing M. Bison to be the
head of Thailand...

Re:Ah, Thailand. (-1, Offtopic)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850874)

Maybe the creators of Street Fighter 2 had it right in choosing M. Bison to be the head of Thailand...

You mean Vega, not Bison. [tinypic.com]

Censorship (5, Funny)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849408)

The worst thing about censorship on the Internet is [REDACTED].

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31849554)

*I* will happily carry the torch forward and tell the whole world that [REDACTED]

[USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST]

Official Thai government Twitter account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31849440)

I want to spam them with gay porn until they block me. If possible, create diplomatic incident.

Re:Official Thai government Twitter account? (5, Funny)

whargoul (932206) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849968)

I'm sure there's a tool out there that will tweet your browsing history.

Re:Official Thai government Twitter account? (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31851230)

Ya, but the developers soon found it's NSFW.

Re:Official Thai government Twitter account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31851660)

The library of congress are developing a tool that will browse your tweeting history. Does that count?

Re:Official Thai government Twitter account? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31852162)

cat australia_filter_list/porn.txt | sort --random-sort

Matter of time (1, Redundant)

qrv9412 (1758922) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849444)

My little brother is down in thailand now, and i want to e-mail him on this but am afraid to raise any red flags down there. I wonder when our government is going to try this in a national emergency, i am not trying to be a tinfoil hat guy. It does seem like something once done, its gone forever the true freedom of the internet.

Re:Matter of time (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849836)

Unless the Thai government has changed policies recently, they probably have fairly little incentive to go after foreign nationals(unless they happen to be citizens of some country with which Thailand is having a serious diplomatic spat, or they are doing blatantly suspicious stuff). Thailand has a pretty decent size tourist sector, a strong economic dependence on exports, and some nice weather and cultural sights. As long as foreign nationals aren't getting involved in local politics, the state has very little to gain by harassing them and something to lose.

It isn't 100% ironclad(and, in the case of severely paranoid or introverted societies, being a foreigner can increase your risk of political repression); but it is often the case, and I am given to understand that Thailand generally operates along these lines, that as long as foreigners come, see the sights, spend their money, and don't do anything overtly stupid(insult the king, hang out with some banned political party, spend their time photographing military installations), the locals have nothing to gain by trying to hunt them down for thoughtcrimes.

Re:Matter of time (1, Flamebait)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850032)

I thought Thailand was also one of the kiddie-fucker destinations. Of course, I could be confused, as my grasp of geography and child molestation destinations are not all that good.

Re:Matter of time (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850400)

I thought Thailand was also one of the kiddie-fucker destinations. Of course, I could be confused, as my grasp of geography and child molestation destinations are not all that good.

Your geography is off. You're thinking of Belgium.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/jan/25/worlddispatch.dutroux [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Matter of time (1)

Nasajin (967925) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850482)

I think you're confusing it with Thighland. One's a nation, the other's a fantasy in your head.

Re:Matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31850662)

It is. Western men go there for that purpose. So what? It's not that it's legal or condoned or anything.

mod sucks cock (-1, Troll)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850854)

Whoever modded the above post troll is a fucking idiot whose mother is a cocksucking whore on a Glasgow street corner. If you fail to recognize a legitimate question, maybe you need to get the dick out of your mouth and the dildo from your ass and learn to read. That's the problem with handing moderation points to just anyone on /. Fucking morons get them too.

Re:Matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31854198)

stonewallred... wtf is up with you?

You pop up in all of the child sex threads and make a big ole noise, regardless of how much of an idiot it makes you sound.

You have issues. Don't impose them on others.

Re:Matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31854304)

What?

This isn't even a "child sex thread". This is a thread about Thailand's oppression of political minorities.

The only reason why the uhm "kiddie fucker" topic came up is the GPs obvious obsession with it.

Gotta agree with your assessment. He/She has issues.

Re:Matter of time (3, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850780)

in the case of severely paranoid or introverted societies, being a foreigner can increase your risk of political repression

You mean like Texas?

This is not +5 insightful. (2, Insightful)

fliptout (9217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852556)

At all.

Re:Matter of time (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852888)

How do they oppress people there? Pray loudly?

Re:Matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31854200)

Brainwash through the education system. Texas is pretty far to the right, and all their textbooks reek of it.

Re:Matter of time (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854326)

Brainwash through the education system.

... whom, foreign nationals [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Matter of time (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854210)

How do they oppress people there? Pray loudly?

I've never heard of a Texan doing anything quietly.

Re:Matter of time (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856230)

This neither effects all of texas, nor is it confined to texas; but there are a number of parts(particularly small towns) where drivers of the Negro persuasion are very likely to get an involuntary demonstration of how asset forfeiture [chicagotribune.com] works in Sheriff Bubba's town.

Those of a more Hispanic countenance may find themselves as "guests" in ICE's rather sinister network of semi-secret prisons, being shuffled from one to the next faster than their lawyers can keep up with them(if records even exist). The latter mostly hits foreign nationals here illegally; but legal visitors, green-card holders, and even citizens get caught up in it from time to time.

On the worldwide scale-o'-oppression-and-human-rights-abuses, Texas is pretty small potatoes; but there are certainly parts best avoided.

Re:Matter of time (1)

CalcuttaWala (765227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855650)

Yo brother, dont be sarcastic about Texas until you have faced government harassment in some repressive countries ...

Re:Matter of time (2, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855790)

I was just being my usual smartass self. I have no idea why some idiot modded me Insightful when I was going for Funny.

The truth is, Texans are some of the warmest, most friendly people you'll meet, at least superficially. It generally takes a while to earn their trust, but once you have it it's hard to lose it (though if you do you probably won't ever earn it back).

Re:Matter of time (1)

ekhben (628371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852208)

I've seen a number of photos of tourists standing on the sidelines watching the riots, unharmed and uninvolved. And one photo of a drunken westerner being marched out of the riot; both sides were happier to see the dickhead out of there, no matter what he was shouting in support of.

The Australian travel advice for Thailand right now looks pretty much the same as for most south-east Asian countries: exercise a high degree of caution, stay the fuck out of the areas with armed militias, and avoid large gatherings of locals. If I were there at present, I wouldn't be standing near a riot watching it, but I don't think there's a whole lot of personal danger for locals OR foreigners right now.

Seven or so deaths over the weekend is a bad sign of possible deterioration of the situation, though.

Re:Matter of time (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852322)

The problem is not the Thai government, or the focus of the current riots. It is the type of person that rioting attracts - some of these are likely to be xenophobic psychopaths who would take the opportunity to assault any foreign looking bystanders. Lucky for westerners, most Thai xenophobes are probably focused on their immediate neighbours, especially the ones with significant economic migrants in Thailand - Laos, Cambodia, Burma, so westerners can usually stand around watching a riot unharmed, but I don't know if I'd take the chance.

Re:Matter of time (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854186)

The problem is not the Thai government, or the focus of the current riots. It is the type of person that rioting attracts

You've never been to Thailand.

What you say may be true of most nations but not SE Asia in general. the Thai population is overwhelmingly and devoutly Buddhist, they will not attack a foreigner (Farang in Thai) without any provocation. In fact the Thai's would be ashamed of a foreigner seeing the protests so they will try to direct foreigners away from it.

Thai's do not attack without provocation, however if you give certain Thai's an excuse (like the Tuk Tuk mafia in Phuket) they will, however they need an excuse or it looks worse for the attacker in Thai society. This is the whole face issue, they'll lie outright and obviously if it means avoiding a conflict which loses face in Buddhist society. Even the Muslims in the country act this way. The vast majority of Thai's will ignore a lot however. The last foreigner to get killed in a Thai coup was Australian cameraman Neil Davis in 1985, whilst filming the coup he was injured by shrapnel and died from his injuries

That being said, any foreigner getting involved in this certifiably retarded. Unlike most violent protests if you stay the hell out of the way you're fine (or just get out of Bangkok until it's over, there are lots of wonderful places within 4 hours drive of the city).

Re:Matter of time (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854904)

Not true. Thaivisa.com, a local forum largely for expats, run by an American, seems to be especially cautious due to past issues. Everybody is a target if they de-stabilize the precarious "stability" in Thailand.

  It is a shame, as foreigners sometimes have curiousity about the monarchy, it's succession process, etc.

Re:Matter of time (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856304)

Obviously Thailand isn't perfectly safe(though my dad and two sisters were all there within the past year, and saw nothing other than slight travel delays because some protest was occupying the airport for a period of time). My point was just that, for a country that has gone through 17 constitutions since the 30's, had a coup d'état in 2006, and off-again, on-again unrest more or less continually, and is rather weak in terms of statutory rights and freedoms, Thailand is pretty damn safe for any foreigner who possesses a polite disinterest in local politics(and isn't a squalid economic migrant from somewhere nearby).

Idealistic college students who want to spend summer break hanging out with some pro-democracy movement whose details they don't really understand, or US/UK expat businessmen who want to play at local enterprise on a scale where government contacts and entanglements are inevitable may well be playing with fire. Your basic tourist type, though, faces quite low danger per unit domestic political instability and repression.

Re:Matter of time (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849928)

They _want_ people to know about this. If the people know, then they're more likely to keep such talk private. If they don't know, a "bad" comment could spread on twitter and they'd have to play clean up.

Re:Matter of time (3, Insightful)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850020)

Don't be silly, email him if you want to email him.

They are mainly looking for Thai-language material. The government doesn't care about foreigners unless they are seriously inciting trouble.

Re:Matter of time (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31851482)

Can't see that being an issue. there's always encryption too.

Re:Matter of time (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852900)

My little brother is down in thailand now, and i want to e-mail him on this but am afraid to raise any red flags down there. I wonder when our government is going to try this in a national emergency, i am not trying to be a tinfoil hat guy. It does seem like something once done, its gone forever the true freedom of the internet.

Dont worry about it.

What is happening at the moment is a major civil disruption, it's not a civil war but people have been killed (less then 30). A large number of protesters are trying to overthrow the government. This may sound bad but this is how Thailand changes government, they've had 19 coups since 1932. The Government has declared a state of emergency and is attempting to quash the protesters (SOP for this scenario).

But the thing about Thailand is that it is very nationalistic. THAIland is for THAI's, thus this is a THAI problem. So long as your brother, as a farang (Thai word for non-Asian foreigner) stays out of it he's perfectly safe. Most Thai's (taxi drivers, hotel staff, people on the street) will steer him away from the protests which are only happening in Bangkok. If he's in Phuket, Chang Mai or anywhere else he wont even know it's happening. You can email your brother, seeing as he's not Thai the Thai authorities wont care.

Re:Matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31854374)

As long as he stays clear of people with guns, he is fine. Its a big party here at the moment. The only protesters I see are driving around in pickup trucks throwing water and my housekeeper who dutifully changes into red each evening to go and express her political opinion. The only problems happen when protesters meet with security forces, and even then it is mostly a standoff - pretty much like any protests around the world.

Thailand's Internet has been censored for some time and the laws are nothing new. This is just a warning trying to stop the rampant rumor mongering from the red side of the fence (and maybe it will help with the rumor mongering from the yellow side of the fence too).

Internet - Mark II (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849480)

How long before someone creates another Internet where "The Man" can't go and fuck it up?

Re:Internet - Mark II (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849568)

It's [freenetproject.org] been [sourceforge.net] done [torproject.org] already [i2p2.de] .

Re:Internet - Mark II (1)

buanzo (542591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849606)

How I miss BBSes....

Re:Internet - Mark II (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31849654)

Tor, i2p, freenet? take your pick.

Re:Internet - Mark II (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31851170)

How long before someone creates another Internet where "The Man" can't go and fuck it up?

There are plenty of Lesbian-only sites on the regular Internet.

Just dont want (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849562)

They just don't want to have all their peoples tweets stored in the Library of Congress.

Re:Just dont want (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850004)

Stored in LoC or stored by the LoC measurement?

Actual crime (1, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849708)

"actual crime"

If it's declared criminal in that jurisdiction, it's a crime. Whether it's morally right or wrong is dependent on your society.

I'm not saying I like it, but I'll respect Thailand's right to govern itself. If the people don't like it, revolt/leave/commit suicide. A leader without followers is just a person.

Re:Actual crime (1, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 4 years ago | (#31849772)

By your logic you could criminalize or decriminalize anything just via a government's say-so. Political thinking dismissed that sort of justification three hundred years ago (you know, "unalienable rights"?).

Re:Actual crime (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850014)

I think you have a serious lack of understanding of how the government actually works.

The government can in fact criminalize or decriminalize anything it wants. I'm not sure what you are refering to happening 300 years ago but every government in the world still has the ability to change laws. Thats part of its job.

It is the peoples job (that would be society) to tell the government how we want the laws set. If we don't like them, its our job to get the government to change them.

Society determines what those 'unalienable rights' are, and the government criminalizes or decriminalizes things to fit those 'unalienable rights'.

The government doesn't exist without societies support.

Re:Actual crime (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850918)

If society decides that certain groups of people don't have "inalienable rights", then the government is in the right to exterminate them at the majority's will?

Some of you populists are sickening.

Re:Actual crime (2, Insightful)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31851622)

You are confusing two definitions of the word right. And you're probably too stupid to understand.

Re:Actual crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31852722)

And you're probably too stupid to understand.

This has never, ever meant anything other than "I know I can't support my position and need an excuse to avoid doing so". Yours is not an exception.

Re:Actual crime (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31850016)

But he is correct even if you don't like his logic. Free Speech? Sure, as long as you don't talk about x, y, or z. Oh, and we may add a, b, and c to the restricted list later. And you have to identify yourself - the founders never meant it could be anonymous. The governments (of various countries) chip away at these "inalienable rights" you speak of daily. They'll continue until it comes to "you have the right to speak well of your government". The other rights are just as much in jeopardy.

Re:Actual crime (1, Insightful)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850168)

By your logic you could criminalize or decriminalize anything just via a government's say-so.

Yes, by definition. From Wikipedia: "Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction." A government can many anything it wants illegal. Even flying pigs.

Political thinking dismissed that sort of justification three hundred years ago (you know, "unalienable rights"?).

Political thinking doesn't stop guns, knives, or the government from forcefully taking you into custody. Your rights are only "unalienable" when you and your allies protect them from your enemies.

"Elbereth" is the only magic word of protection I know, and that works in Nethack, not in real life.

Re:Actual crime (1)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854318)

The taxation of property was deemed untenable and dubiously aristocratic by the revolutionaries around 225 years ago (dunno where 300 came from?)

But clearly, our government has changed its mind and the people have basically gone along with it.

But at the time, the government decided that certain colors of skin were perfectly fine to own as property and to execute without trial.

But then like 100 years ago, we decided that one gender should be able to have equal voting rights to the other gender. I'm sure that's an "unalienable right" but the government didn't recognize it until relatively recently.

Don't you see the absurdity of the concept "unalienable rights"?

All rights are granted by the government. You can surely argue that taking 40-50% of someone's income directly out of their paycheck is a crime. That's what the original US government said, when the Brits tried to come in and tax them, but they decided they were going to put an end to it and they did it with bullets.

The only way to overrule the government is to overthrow the government, especially when the government essentially perpetuates itself, rather than being an element of the people's discretion- as it is in a limited sense within the framework of the constitutional republic of the USA.

More nuanced discussion and a deeper consideration of a broad scope of political history and social anthropology might help the understanding of the topic.

Re:Actual crime (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31849900)

"If the people don't like it, revolt/"

They are working on it.

Re:Actual crime (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854222)

[citation needed]

Perhaps you could link to a Thai site detailing the planned revolt? ;-)

Re:Actual crime (1, Troll)

migla (1099771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850108)

I'm not saying I like it, but I'll respect Thailand's right to govern itself. If the people don't like it, revolt/leave/commit suicide. A leader without followers is just a person.

So your saying you respect the juntas right to govern the majority? ps. They *are* revolting. That's why the military coupers are cracking down on the internet.

Re:Actual crime (1, Troll)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850906)

You have to understand that certain people make special exceptions for internet censorship when it's Thailand. I'm not quite sure why yet, but whenever Thailand comes up on slashdot you always get a few apologists out of the woodwork defending Thailand's latest crackdown on insulting the king or other speech censorship. I have no idea what makes Thailand so special, but certain slashdotters will defend Thai censorship to their dying breath.

Oh, and in any case, OP is insinuating the governments own their citizens, or that oppression can't happen if it's majority-driven. "Oh ho ho ho, well, I respect Iran/North Korea/Nazi Germany's right to govern itself, if you don't like it..."

Re:Actual crime (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31853050)

Hardly. I don't like censorship, and I wish the best of luck to those trying to change it. I just object to the implication that "actual crime" is defined by whatever the USA/Britain/EU/Australia/whoever culture claims is wrong, and that the cultural values of others don't matter.

All (to my knowledge) governments recognize Thailand's government. Likewise, my opinion is that it should be considered sovereign, and crime there is entirely what they want to define it as. Breathing's illegal? Okay. Breathing's now a crime. Being Jewish is illegal? Okay. Being Jewish is now a crime. Failure to salute the flag is illegal? Okay. That's a crime too. What gives us the right do decide what rights others should have?

Crime is determined by the government, which only stays in power by popular support. Rights are determined by society, which includes the government-supporting people. If people's support changes, then it's time for a regime change. Revolution isn't easy, but it's been done for the past several thousand years. As long as Thailand's government is in power, it may be assumed to have the support of the people. Not full support, but enough that there's no revolution quite yet.

From the American Declaration of Independence [ushistory.org]

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Consider these words carefully. The very first word "we" notes that these opinions are those of the authors. The authors believe the rights should be unalienable, but recognize that it is only their opinion. Further, that it is the government's job to protect the people's chosen rights, and the government only holds power while the people allow it. Finally, when a government is no longer serving its people, the people should revolt. Note that nowhere does it state the involvement of any foreign powers, or requiring the government be approved by anyone but the governed.

Re:Actual crime (3, Insightful)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850134)

Hmm, leave and go where? And using what form of currency to make that move? Nice abstract idea, but the practical aspect is that 99% of the world population lacks the means to just "leave" and go elsewhere. I live in the USA, the richest or one of the richest countries in the world. I have a successful business, very, very little debt, and between bank accounts, investments and credit cards, I could probably raise close to 250k cash, give or take a few thousand. More if I had time to sell real property such as vehicles, home, land, etc. And I don't have enough to just leave, unless I want to be a illegal and soon penniless beggar in some other country. And that is with an education and trade skills. I really doubt the average citizen of Thailand has the level of education or trade skills that I have, and nowhere near the money. Try a different idea rather than the Ann Rand BS you are spouting. The real world does not play out like a novel.

Re:Actual crime (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852992)

I could probably raise close to 250k cash, give or take a few thousand. More if I had time to sell real property such as vehicles, home, land, etc. And I don't have enough to just leave, unless I want to be a illegal and soon penniless beggar in some other country.

With 250k and skill, you wouldn't be a "penniless beggar" for sure. You would, of course, lose many things that you have achieved in USA, but not to the point of poverty or need.

Re:Actual crime (1)

unkiereamus (1061340) | more than 4 years ago | (#31853212)

Just gonna go ahead an point this out, 250k, invested reasonably well is plenty to live quite nicely on down here in Honduras, I myself manage to live reasonably well on around 800-1k/month, and incidentally, I live in one of the more expensive parts of Honduras.

If you take the time to sell off your real property, and if that just covers the cost of buying a house (around here, that'll cost somewhere between 15k and 1M [told you this was an expensive area]), you'll be doing even better.

Oh, and you can almost certainly parlay your investment return into a residency.

I know this is crazy talk for /., but perhaps you should familiarize yourself with reality before posting?

Re:Actual crime (2, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31850388)

Whether it's morally right or wrong is dependent on your society.

Yeah, no, whether it's considered morally right or wrong in your society is dependent on your society, not whether it actually is.

I'm not saying I like it, but I'll respect Thailand's right to govern itself.

Their right to govern themselves doesn't actually impact on us having opinions on how they go about doing it.

Re:Actual crime (2, Insightful)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852640)

Alright, so what is morally correct, then, rather than what is merely considered morally correct? Whatever you think is so, I suppose? And what is the real basis for that? Is there a magic book somewhere I can find on what is the absolute standard for morality? And if so, who wrote it?

As far as I know it, morality is basically something that is considered by its very nature, by individual minds. Energy waves and empty space have no morality.

don't murder (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855824)

don't rape

don't steal

etc.

that's morality, and its universal. there are edge conditions: "women shouldn't behave immodestly" for example, that has all sorts of interpretations according to local customs from the netherlands to saudi arabia

however, i would assert to you that the only morally and defensible point of view for frsming ANY opinion or morality is a global one. not that enough people do nowadays, unfortunately

yes, most people only talk about their morality from a point of view of ethnic or nationalistic or religious chauvinism: "in the muslim world, we don't..." "in america, we don't..." "true russians don't...." followed by some moral observation that, by implication, says outside the borders of that subset of people, there is only immorality and barbarism. this kind of exclusionary thinking, in turn, becomes the ROOT CAUSE of suffering and injustice, and is in a sense, a form of immorality

in other words, yes, there is a sense of universal morality. and it is absolutely a superior basis for judgment and thought than: 1. no morality at all, or 2. morality based on random tribal subsets of people

Re:don't murder (1)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856162)

So if everyone in the world agreed that murder was wrong, and could decide on a definition of murder, then that would make it so absolutely? That wouldn't just be a consensus of considerations, but would instead simply be? And what would make that so?

If it really does work that way, then what about aliens who visit us one day? Would this apply to them too? What if they start eating human beings, and we tell them it's absolutely immoral, but they reply that everyone on their planet agrees that it's fine to eat other species for the meat, hair, and fashionable scrotum skin-bags?

yes, morality is simply a consensus (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856314)

why does this for some reason make it suspect or inadequate?

mankind makes all sorts of things that don't exist in the natural world: houses, clothes, guns, rocket ships, etc. the rules defining how he treats other humans is one of those things he simply makes up, and it simply works, and it simply improves his life, as much as that house, clothes, etc

of course morality is imperfect. who cares? its still better than no morality or ethnically/ nationalistically/ religiously based forms of chauvinistic morality

Prem the dictator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31850570)

Trouble with that Les Majeste law is that it's used by the Generals to justify suppressing criticism of themselves. There's a royal advisor called General Prem, and he interferes in politics all the time.

They call themselves the 'royal' army to give themselves access to Les Majeste protection. So it's not whether it's law, it's that the army will shoot you then hide behind it.

The generals are the ones that sent the army against the protesters recently, killing 20 or so of them. Ahh but they claim they didn't use live bullets, then they claimed they did, but shot over the crowd, then it was 'terrorists' that did it. And attempts to show youtube videos contradicting their account, it suppressed.

Hence the current crackdown on free speech.

Re:Prem the dictator (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855588)

The generals are the ones that sent the army against the protesters recently, killing 20 or so of them. Ahh but they claim they didn't use live bullets, then they claimed they did, but shot over the crowd, then it was 'terrorists' that did it.

So who are these 20 people that were killed? [bangkokpost.com]

Well 5 were soldiers that were killed from gunshot wounds by the protesters [bangkokpost.com] that you're so quick to label as "protesters".

Lets see, what other bullshit are you spreading... oh the "crack down on free speech". You mean like your free speech? It seems to be more a crackdown on lying in my opinion. One which you demonstrate necessary so well.

Who are these protesters and what are they doing? Well they're the loud minority who want the old corrupt prime minister back in power so they can receive rewards for doing so. They have been paid to protest and there are videos on them proving it. Not that it needs proving because no one denies it.

They've done nothing but cause violence since they came to bangkok. Just go on youtube and type "red shirt violence" and see for yourself.

Re:Actual crime (3, Insightful)

formfeed (703859) | more than 4 years ago | (#31851632)

Whether it's morally right or wrong is dependent on your society.

Ok, so you are a cultural relativist.

I'll respect Thailand's right to govern itself

At the same time you believe in universal rights.
First problem.

But then, these rights are not individual universal rights, you connect them to the (assumed) concept of absolute sovereignty for a government/nation.

Hmm.

Re:Actual crime (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31853142)

It is my opinion that no rights are unalienable, and sovereignty can be lost just as easily as any personal freedom. Everything is defined by what a given society says is right. The governments of the world generally recognize each other's sovereignty, and I will as well. I'll recognize it only until Thailand is invaded by someone else, or overthrown in revolt. Then the current government will lose its right to govern, and we'll move on to someone else.

Who cares (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31849764)

Just another puck hole corner of the world in need of a nuking.

if they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31850080)

Saying it's not a crime is a crime...

Sorry guys, but totally wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31851004)

Having spent much time in Thailand, and even "married in" to the culture, I can state from experience that the original poster is clueless about what is going on there.

[1] Lese Majeste is not what it seems. Try making a public threat against the US president and see how long it takes before the secret service kicks your door in. The King is protected because he is not a political figure - he doesn't make the laws folks. Thailand has an elected parliment and priminister that make the laws as duly elected officials, same as here. Within reason, you can criticize them all you want. Punch your senator in the face and you'll be in prison here or there - same same.

[2] The person (deposed priminister Thaksin) primarily responsible for trying to snow foreigners in the media with this kind of bull, and funding the massive protests out of his own pockets is a wanted criminal that abused power to make his fortune, and is believed to have had his political enemies executed. The fact that this person cannot legally enter the US, the European Union, or any other major power without fear of arrest and extradition alone should make the point clear.

Don't buy the FUD before you shop for the truth.

Re:Sorry guys, but totally wrong. (2, Insightful)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31853470)

heya,

Err, yeah, but there's a world of difference between "punching a senator" in the face, and cracking jokes about him. Sorry, but that's just a ridiculous comparison and makes no sense.

And let's not spread fallacies here - the Lese Majeste law isn't really about threats, but also about anything that's considered disparaging in general. It's about violating the *dignity* of a sovereign or head of state.

Quite frankly, I'm going to get out there and say I think it's just plain ridiculous, and shows how backward and outdated Thailand is (and before you cry claims of racism, racism, my family is from SE Asia). I can make a website senatorconroy-is-an-idiot.com.au, and put anything I want there (within reason, of course - say, no child porn or hate speech), and nobody's going to be kicking down any doors.

I mean, look at this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/6498119/Student-throws-shoe-at-former-Australian-PM-John-Howard.html [telegraph.co.uk]

Some hippy idiot throws a shoe at John Howard. Admittedly, the man's throwing abilities is an embarrassment to aussies everywhere, but even then, Howard laughs it off, and says "he's never be on my team (i.e. cricket). Even George Bush brushed off the whole shoeing thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoeing [wikipedia.org]

With your second point, I have no love for Thaksin, but I don't really find him much worse than any of the other tin-pot dictators in the region. And the last few leaders in Thailand have all been outsed for corruption or various other crimes. Sorry, but basically, they're all wrong, ok, so trying to paint the current regime as anything other than militarily-imposed dictatoriship is just dishonest.

Cheers, Victor

Not right, but there's a real reason (4, Interesting)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 4 years ago | (#31851390)

I've been following this closely as I have a personal connection to Thailand and was last there a couple of months ago, and checking out all the stuff that's been posted online (mainly photos and videos since my Thai is rather poor).

There's an obvious reason why they're cracking down - there really is rampant misinformation being spread. The stuff that gets published almost always includes commentary by whoever posted it which blames one side or the other based on what they say is concrete evidence that their photos or video provide... yet if you look at the stuff, it's obvious it's just wild speculation at best and purposeful stretching of the truth (misinformation) at worst. It's really, really bad. Foreigners are especially bad because they mostly don't fully understand the situation and accept "evidence" at face value.

The main thing that's being contended right now is whether or not the Thai army troops fired live rounds (rather than rubber ones) into the red-shirt protesters (who are unarmed), thus being the cause of the deaths. Most of the videos claim to prove that they are, but there is absolutely no evidence in *any* of the videos that this is the case.

The interesting thing is that there *is* evidence of a third group (labeled as terrorists by the government) who are the ones inciting violence... sniping people from both sides from up on buildings, and so on. There's even a video that shows someone's head getting shot off a few feet away - literally, the brain is lying on the sidewalk and the top half of the head is missing. It's clear they weren't shot by the army, because their assault rifles wouldn't have done that.

Crazy stuff! It will be really interesting to see what follows. Based on how the Thai government operates, this "ban" shouldn't actually stop the flow of information coming out of Thailand, especially since a lot of it is coming from foreigners.

Re:Not right, but there's a real reason (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31853070)

There's even a video that shows someone's head getting shot off a few feet away - literally, the brain is lying on the sidewalk and the top half of the head is missing. It's clear they weren't shot by the army, because their assault rifles wouldn't have done that.

Actually, a bullet from an assault rifle to the head can do just that to a person, especially if it's 7.62 or higher caliber. Here [peacehall.com] is a sequence of (very graphic! NSFW!) pictures of a Chinese execution which was done precisely that way, and you can clearly see the upper half of the head blown off, and brain splattered all over the wall behind the executed person.

Re:Not right, but there's a real reason (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854950)

Pretty sure the Thai military uses M16s. There is clearly a "third hand" involved, but it is pretty hard to know who they are affiliated with.

Sad thing is that the red shirts and yellow shirts are pretty much fighting over who gets to use Taksin's money for their own (political) gain.

Re:Not right, but there's a real reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31854814)

the problem is that pro government misinformation via ASTV is not being censored and that makes it a bit of a double standard.
for instance there was a news that the CEO of CAT telecom was kindnapped wich turned out to be a lie. it has never been corrected by ASTV solving the main purpose to manupulate the public opinion that all protestors can be qualified as terrorists. that goes on day in and out with new stories.

people only deliver an alternative to the gvmt version and it's up to the reader to make up his mind. with this info ban there is no balance left and that is the sad thing.

Re:Not right, but there's a real reason (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855660)

Evey thing you've said not only doesn't make sense, it's compete lies. The kind of lies that the government is trying to censor.

1) ASTV is affiliated with the "yellow shirts" which has their own political party.
2) The government is currently a democrat government which isn't in anyway related to the yellow shirt's political party
3) ASTV is a privately owned satellite TV channel which almost no one has and isn't free to receive

CEO of CAT telecom was kindnapped wich turned out to be a lie.

and you're spilling some bullshit yourself. A fuckton of red shirt protesters turn up at his office and tell him to "come with us". Yeah, it's not kidnapping because he "willingly went" (so he says).

Re:Not right, but there's a real reason (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31855804)

It's called "Agitprop [wikipedia.org] " and was frequently used successfully by socialists of the 20th century to achieve their goals. The short version is, you make up some shit that is infuriating and then rile up the people to respond.

HMMMM (1)

kuei12 (1555897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31852384)

This seems to be an awfully biased post. Too bad the author is not aware of the current problems in Thailand. Red shirts are spreading hate and fear to further their destructive cause to uneducated people in an attempt to create havoc, and overthrow the government. But hey, who cares what happens as long as people have their precious Facebook, right?

Re:HMMMM (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31853084)

Red shirts are spreading hate and fear to further their destructive cause to uneducated people in an attempt to create havoc, and overthrow the government.

Well, yes, I'd imagine that's what the government tells you.

Problem is, if they shut up any channels of information other than those they control, how do you actually know who does or says what?

Re:HMMMM (1)

stub667 (1603191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31854420)

Thankfully they appear to just be trying to shut down the propaganda machines that are driving this. Nobody is censoring the foreign press, except the red camp who booted them out of protest sites for 'biased reporting'.

The issues that stop people knowing the full picture here are the defamation and lese majesty laws, which are used as political weapons. Reporters still have to be circumspect to avoid retribution, or make sure they are out of the country before they go to press.

Not quite... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31856190)

>Thailand has draconian anti-lèse majesté laws which are routinely abused in order to settle political scores
Like religions in the passed....these laws are made so the enforcers can more easily manipulate situations to be controllable
and get a desired outcome.....how many times have we heard the old speech, in order to control someone by using their
beliefs against them in order to maintain their awareness that they could be doing something wrong and have consequences.

Remember, don't turn on a red light or you will get a ticket, except now in the province, you are allowed to turn on a red light with same way traffic..except how many people are still not comfortable doing it, so they stay there instead.....making traffic back up for no reason except their own ignorance. If the people in Thailand wanted to , they could revolt and force their government to do what they want them to, on sheer volume alone, except they (we) have been so manipulated into these small situations again and again that it becomes standard to not challenge what is being said, no matter how silly.....

Thai man> /spits on the floor
Thai Officer> you will not spit on the floor or else it might be considered an act of treason by defacing our streets with your
                                        spit...making you a traitor to this country, now move along or face my wrath, you wrongdoer.
Thai man> /feels like he did something wrong and leaves before doing anything else wrong...

I always wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31856730)

Why do you think your world view is the "correct" one?

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