Recently a Thai citizen discovered proof of cabinet resolutions in the official Thai government repository. These resolutions are over three months old–a good indication that the Thai government is even closer than we thought to creating their version of the Chinese firewall that provides online censorship throughout China.
The edict from the cabinet instructions explains how the ICT and justice ministries, and even the national police department, are setting up a single gateway to control inappropriate websites. The structure of the firewall is very similar to that of the Chinese firewall, which controls information through limited channels and singular data center placement.
Angry at the recent news, Twitter users have spoken out: “yes, Thailand is about to have the Great Firewall just like China–except it will be shittier and corrupted as hell.” Upon hearing the news, tens of thousands of people have come together to sign a petition against the proposal, fearful of what could happen in the future if such proceedings come uncontested. Now petition signatures on Change.org are greater than 75,000. From a networking and internet freedom standpoint, it’s hard not to be outraged. But can a simple appeal change the government’s mind? They know people don’t want censorship.
While these enhanced protocols will be much more restrictive, there have also already been active uses of web censorship. Thailand restricted use of pornography and mention of the royal family in the past, but a single point of entry for the traffic will make the censorship much more efficient, robust and easy for Thailand to set up blocks (that is, for those who don’t use VPN!).
Unlike before where Thailand would have to request changes from internet service providers, these legal changes give Thailand power to immediately take down a site by forcing internet service providers to take down a site without any legal recourse.
These new censorship proceedings will have an enormous impact on Thai citizens with restricted access to popular sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even Google being severely limited. Like China, the government can also manipulate user traffic by throttling messaging apps and internet speeds outside of Thailand.
With censorship springing up around the globe like a wildfire, there is no better time to utilize TorGuard Stealth VPN services. Stealth VPN uses an encrypted tunnel and invisible access to uncensored internet by appearing like regular HTTPS traffic. At it’s core, it’s engineered to bypass censorship techniques present in countries like China, UAE, Turkey, Iran, and now Thailand–that inspect deep packet transfers.