The Army Cyber Centre (ACC) claims to have taken down 435 websites committing lèse majesté since October last year, when King Bhumibol passed away. Internet service providers, however, refuse to give details about the suppressed websites.
On 11 May, Maj Gen Ritthi Intharawut, director of the ACC, stated the bureau has detected 820 websites publishing lèse majesté content. 365 were hosted on Facebook, 450 on Youtube and 5 from Twitter. In April alone, the ACC detected 120 offending websites.
The ACC has subsequently limited access to these websites with the cooperation of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Department of Special Investigations and the Technology Crimes Suppression Division.
“We have received cooperation from the relevant agencies in suppressing lèse majesté websites, in accordance with over 6,000 court orders. However, there is the issue of people who commit crimes abroad so we have to seek cooperation from foreign agencies and service providers too. [We] expect that the dissemination of lèse majesté content will soon decrease,” said ACC director.
Morakot Kulthamyothin, the chair of the Thai Internet Service Providers Association (TISPA), told BBC Thai
that the government has reported over 7,000 illegal websites to TIPSA since 2014. More than 6,300 have been suppressed with the other some 600 subject to ongoing investigations due to encryption.
When asked for the names of the suppressed websites, the TIPSA chair refused on reasons of confidentiality. TIPSA has also asked Facebook to suppress content but to no response.
The ACC was established as a division of the Royal Thai Army on 1 November 2016, almost a month after King Rama IX passed away on 13 October. The centre monitors distorted news from within and outside the country, especially in relation to Article 112 — the lèse majesté law — of the Criminal Code.