Thailand Blacklist Nearly 5,000 Websites from Public Viewing

The Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau in Thailand reports the government has blacklisted almost 5,000 website domains that contained pornographic material or websites deemed threatening to the monarchy.

During the first 9 months of 2022, the ministry blocked 4,735 URLs in response to 183 court rulings, as the Digital Enforcement System (DES) reported.

Lese majeste (1,816 URLs), online gambling (1,507 URLs), immoral deeds (1,119 URLs), pornography (219 URLs), e-cigarette sales (58 URLs), and expensive online lottery sales (58 URLs) are just some of the illegal activities that the restricted websites cover (17 URLs).

news, thailand blacklist nearly 5,000 websites from public viewing

This information was made public after the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau reported 2,330 incidents of cybercrime between December 22, 2020, and August of this year.

Online gambling and cross-border crimes accounted for the largest number of instances involving technology crimes (670), followed by financial fraud (579 cases) and the dissemination of fake news (150 cases) (483 cases).

The administration also advocated for passing regulations to give law enforcement more leeway in responding to widespread crimes like creating proxy bank accounts.

news, thailand blacklist nearly 5,000 websites from public viewing

Blocked Website Statistics in Thailand

URLs blocked Percent Reason
57,330 77% lèse majesté content (content that defames, insults, threatens, or is unflattering to the King, including national security and some political issues)
16,740 22% pornographic content
357 <1% information about abortion
246 <1% content related to gambling

In 2021, Comparitech, a technology research organization based in the United Kingdom, Thailand, gave a 6 out of 10 for internet censorship, which is on pace with several regional counterparts.

Seventeen countries (including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam) out of 150 received a 6 on the scale.

With a higher rating comes stricter censorship. The most restrictive kind of online censorship is indicated with a rating of 10.

Five were donated to Singapore, and four to Myanmar and the Philippines.

Paul Bischoff, the editor at Comparitech, commented on Thailand’s 6 on the Bangkok Post, saying that the country censors the news and social media, blocks access to some pirate sites, and imposes restrictions on pornographic content.

Internet censorship in Thailand is a result of the Cybercrime Act, the Computer Crime Act, and lese majeste legislation, according to Mr. Bischoff.

Each criterion weighs two points for a total possible score out of ten. If stuff like news outlets, social networks, VPNs, torrents, and pornographic material is censored but still available, that’s worth one point, whereas a complete ban is worth two.

Mr. Bischoff argued that “censorship hampers free speech and public access to knowledge.” The voices of dissenters are stifled by censorship. Government critics, dissidents, and activists may be oppressed or persecuted. The ability allows authorities to stifle criticism is excessive.

North Korea received a perfect score of 10 for the degree to which its internet is censored.

Source: Bangkok Post