Thailand? Ministry for Digital Development in a country with “Not Free” Internet

Thailand’s Dictator is changing the name of the ICT Ministry to the Ministry of Digital Economy development, but as the following article says, Thailand’s internet is less free than Myanmar’s internet these days.

The following is from Prachatai (source)

Myanmar Internet freer than Thailand’s: Freedom House

Submitted by editor1 on Fri, 05/12/2014 – 11:14

Freedom House, a human rights advocacy group based in Washington D.C., on Thursday revealed its 2014 Freedom on the Net report, which categorizes Thailand’s Internet as ‘not free’, while categorizing Myanmar Internet as ‘partly free.’

This is a reversal from 2013, when Thailand was categorized as partly free, and Myanmar was categorized as not free.

While a score of 0 indicates complete freedom, and 100 none, Myanmar received 60 and Thailand received 62 on the Freedom on the Net total score.

The scores are based on three factors: violation of Internet users’ rights, limits on content, and obstacles to access.

“The NCPO [Thai junta] made dozens of arrests, stepped up digital surveillance, infringed on online privacy, and created a climate of fear where internet users conducted on- and off-line “witch hunts” against fellow citizens,” states Freedom House.

The advocacy group also mentions the first case for Thailand where a court jailed an internet user for over six years for “attempting to commit lèse-majesté” via a computer and calls the case a “charge without legal basis”.

“Though the number of censored URLs appeared to decline, court orders now authorize ICT officials to block similar content on other websites without seeking fresh permission, bypassing a legal requirement,” said Freedom House.

Countries which join the ‘not free’ category with Thailand include China, Iran, Vietnam, and Libya

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