The Fah Diew Kan (Same Sky) publishing house website was shut down on the night of Jan 4 by its hosting server.
Net Service Ltd sent an email to notify the publishing house of its decision to terminate its hosting service for www.sameskybooks.org which allegedly had messages with lèse majesté content posted on its web-board.
Thanapol Eawsakul, editor of Fah Diew Kan, told Prachatai that the ICT forced the host server to stop hosting his website, otherwise the company would not be able to access its servers to continue providing a service to other websites.
Thanapol said the ICT did not directly use its authority under the Computer Crimes Act, forcing the private company to act instead. It is a disguised form of censorship, he said. And no lèse majesté charge has yet been lodged, but this might happen in the future.
Previously, the ICT had contacted the webmaster from time to time to delete certain posts deemed offensive, and Fah Diew Kan had always complied.
Now the publishing house is considering suing the ICT for acting unlawfully, and moving its website to foreign hosts.
Fah Diew Kan publishes a quarterly magazine of the same name, featuring articles on social and political issues. One of its volumes was banned by the police for alleged lèse majesté offences. The website and web-board were a sort of non-commercial supplement to its publications. The web-board lately attracted quite a large following including both royalists and non-royalists alike, who were constantly involved in fierce debates about the monarchy which has long been a taboo topic in Thailand.
The number of people online just prior to the shut down hit about 150, which possibly included a number of authorities assigned to monitor the discussions.
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