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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thailand's internet ‘not free’ under military rule

Thailand's internet ‘not free’ under military rule, says Freedom House

Thailand's internet has received a "not free" status in rankings published yesterday by Freedom House, a US-based public organization that analyzes the state of freedom of expression around the world.
The military's acts of summoning people for interrogation and the draft of a single gateway means Thailand’s score of 63 is in the same range as Myanmar (63) and Russia (62).

The score is based on a set of methodology questions developed in consultation with international experts to capture the vast array of relevant issues that enable internet freedom such as banning access to particular websites and communication apps.



The report said more Thai internet users were harassed and arrested during the coverage period than ever before in the wake of 2014 coup as the junta issued orders forbidding traditional media broadcasts, censored online news, and arrested or monitored hundreds of critics. Many of these actions were justified as part of the "returning happiness to Thai people" campaign.

After the coup, internet penetration by the government is up to 29 percent in 2014 from 26 percent in 2013. Mobile penetration rose from 140 to 144 percent in the same period, the report cited.

Globally, China is ranked last with a score of 88. More countries started censoring information of public interest and placing greater demands on the private sector to take down offending content this year.

Source: Coconuts

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