Thai ISPs to pressure Facebook on illegal sites

Economy May 05, 2017 01:00


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ELEVEN local Internet service providers have agreed to pressure Facebook to delete the accounts of webpages that contain content that is illegal in Thailand.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said the NBTC had collaborated with local ISPs to block many websites deemed as illegal, and more than 600 were set to be blocked next week. However, many such sites have URLs on servers located outside Thailand, which are more secure than those based here.

“We are waiting to negotiate with Facebook to find measures to close the illegal webpages so that URLs that provide content in Thailand must practise under Thai law,” Takorn said.

Local ISPs provide 95 per cent of the Internet services in Thailand. However, some sites the authorities disapprove of get around local blockages by registering on Facebook. Therefore, on Wednesday 11 members of Thai Internet Service Provider Association (TISPA) sent an e-mail to Facebook asking for its cooperation.

Morragot Kulatumyotin, president of TISPA, said the association now had 19 active ISPs among its membership, such as Internet Thailand (INET), CS Loxinfo, True Internet, Advanced Wireless Network, DTAC TriNet, CAT Telecom, TOT, KSC Commercial Internet and Jasmine Internet. 

Vasu Khunvasi, director of True Internet Corporation, said local ISPs expected Facebook to cooperate on this issue as it plans to expand its business in Thailand.

Facebook already has more than 41 million members in Thailand and the country has high growth potential for the Internet giant. 

A Facebook spokesman said: “When governments believe that something on the Internet violates their laws, they may contact companies like Facebook and ask us to restrict access to that content. When we receive such a request, it is scrutinised to determine if the specified content does indeed violate local laws. If we determine that it does, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory and notify people who try to access it why it is restricted.”