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Thailand blocks 2,300 websites

BANGKOK, 6 Jan 2009: Thai authorities have blocked 2,300 websites for allegedly insulting monarchy and are waiting for court approval to take action on another 400 websites.

Information and Communication Minister Ranongruk Suwanchawee was quoted by the Thailand News Agency (TNA) as saying this today.

Apart from the 2,300 websites, Ranongruk said her ministry is preparing to ask for court approval to close another 400, according to a report by The Nation news website.

Quoting a press release posted on the ministry’s website, she that the blocking of websites that disseminate content and photos which insult the monarchy is one of the government’s crucial policies.

She added that her ministry will seek law amendment which will increase powers of information, communication and technology (ICT) officials as soon as parliament reopens.

The ministry had spent 45 million baht (US$128,600) to buy equipment for a round-the-clock “war room” targeting inappropriate websites.

The ministry will ask cooperation from ministries of justice, interior and defence to prosecute violators, who face imprisonment and a fine for breaking the law, the minister said. — Bernama


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