Thailand blocks Wikipedia on coup anniversary

Staff writer
22 Sep 2014
00:00

Thailand has celebrated the eighth anniversary of the 2006 coup by blocking all of Thai Wikipedia while ministers talk about transition to the digital economy.

Visitors to th.wikipedia.com on Friday 19 September were directed to the ICT ministry's block screen citing inappropriate content. The block was on most fixed line ISPs but mobile connections remained unaffected.

Wikipedia's home page was showing an article on the 2006 coup that saw the ousting of Thaksin Shinawatra. The regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission had earlier ordered all broadcasters not to talk about the past in order to preempt anyone using the anniversary as an excuse to cause disharmony.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told TelecomAsia that this was not the first time something like this has happened, but thankfully past blocks have not led to anything permanent.

The block occurred on 3BB, TOT, CAT and Uninet (university ISP), but not on True or on any of the mobile operators.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of ICT will relaunch itself as the Ministry Of Digital Economy with junta leader General Prayuth Chanocha personally chairing the policy board.

ICT minister Pornchai Rujiprapa said that the the ministry's will absorb NECTEC, the ministry of science's National Electronics And Computer Technology Center and will need to renegotiate areas of overlap with the NBTC.

Pornchai said the new ministry will focus on fiber infrastructure, software and society.

He said that General Prayuth has given a directive for the end to end creation of a home-grown tablet for schoolchildren.

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