Thai authorities to build state-owned internet gateway for more efficient censorship

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) has blocked 219 websites which are deemed threats to “national security” according to an order of the military junta and it will ask Facebook, YouTube and Line, a chat application, to ban some user accounts which disseminate “illegal” content, Surachai Srisakam, Permanent Secretary of the MICT, told media on Tuesday. 
The MICT is also drafting a plan to build a national internet gateway so that censorship measures can be applied by the state more efficiently. The plan is to make CAT and TOT, both state-owned telecommunication companies, responsible for the gateway. The plan will be completed within one to two months, he added. 
Moreover, he said the Ministry has applied stricter measures to “regulate” the internet and social networks. Two working groups have been set up to carry out this task.
The first group is assigned to monitor and analyse information on the internet, especially social media. If the group detects violations of the military junta’s orders, it will block dissemination of that information. The Intelligence Group of the police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division and the Immigration Police are responsible for this task. 
The second working group oversees investigation and crime suppression. It has the authority to investigate and arrest people who disseminate “illegal information.” Representatives from the Army will work alongside the police from the Technology Crime Suppression Division.


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