Feeds

Judge delays decision in key web freedom case

Thai journo faces TWENTY years for insulting royals

Intelligent flash storage arrays

An online news editor facing up to 20 years in a Thai prison for failing to delete quickly enough comments on the site insulting the royal family has had her case postponed again as webmasters in the country wait nervously on the outcome.

Judge Nittaya Yaemsri set a new court date for 30 May, claiming more time was needed to prepare the appropriate documents, AP reported.

Chiranuch ‘Jiew’ Premchaiporn was arrested in 2008 over 10 comments made on independent news site Prachatai which broke the country’s Computer Crime Act.

This law penalises any “false computer data” which is deemed likely to cause damage to a third party or national security. Chiranuch herself is being charged under Article 15, which rules that “anyone supporting or consenting” to such illegal activities will be subject to the same penalties.

Further heightening the tension is that the comments in question were deemed insulting to the monarchy.

Thailand has strict lèse-majesté – or ‘injured majesty’ – laws and has been enforcing them with increasing regularity over the past few years, but critics have argued that given the wide room for interpretation, they are being misused in order to deliberately restrict freedom of speech.

Chiranuch’s legal battle is being seen as a test case which, if it goes against her, could open the way for more webmasters and media companies to be prosecuted for failing to act on harmful comments on their sites.

Thailand has come under increasing criticism from the international community for its apparent crack down on web freedoms.

Aside from convicting citizens under lèse-majesté laws, and deleting thousands of web pages, the government has also welcomed new functionality announced by Twitter earlier this year which will allow for the blocking of tweets at an individual country level in accordance with local laws.

As a result, rights group Reporters Without Borders put Thailand on its “countries under surveillance” list last month and warned it could even swap places with notoriously repressive state Burma.

“If Thailand continues down the slope of content filtering and jailing netizens on lèse-majesté charges, it could soon join the club of the world’s most repressive countries as regards the internet,” the report said.

Given that a ruling was expected to be made today, the unusual decision to postpone could be a result of the significant political implications of the outcome. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.