Facebook faces imminent shutdown in Thailand: Report

Facebook faces imminent shutdown in Thailand: Report

BANGKOK: Pressure from the Thai government could force the country's Internet Service Provider Association (Tispa) to block access to Facebook, the Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday (May 16). 

Citing Facebook's refusal to remove "illicit URLs or posts from its site", Tispa said it "could disconnect the content delivery network (CDN)" the report said.

The association and Internet gateway providers (IIG) reportedly sent their request to the managing director of Facebook Thailand via email with a deadline of 10am (local time) on Tuesday to undertake the required actions.

Thai authorities have warned Facebook Inc to take down content deemed threatening to national security or violating strict lese majeste laws.

Thailand's military government has ramped up online censorship, particularly perceived insults to monarchy, since seizing power in a 2014 coup.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said Facebook had failed to remove 131 of 309 web addresses on its platform which were threatened security or violated the lese majeste law, which makes it a crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, heir to the throne or regent.

"If the relevant Thai authorities find any illegal content from www.facebook.com in our system - particularly the 131 URLs which have not yet been removed - concerned authorities will request that we shut down the CDN of www.facebook.com and other parts of the network to block such illegal content.

"This action may affect the entire delivery services of www.facebook.com to customers in Thailand," Tispa said in the email.

Facebook opened its office in Thailand in September 2015 and has been the subject of cases involving royal defamation where Thais have been charged for sharing certain Facebook posts.

Earlier in May, five Thais were charged for sharing Facebook posts written by an exiled dissident academic about the disappearance of a democracy plaque in Bangkok in April.

Source: CNA/mn