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Thailand about to propose a "Great Firewall"

Thailand about to propose a "Great Firewall"

The government of Thailand is currently denying all reports that they are planning to introduce a "great firewall" which would be focused on blocking any objectionable internet content, including international online gambling sites.

This last week some rumors surfaced that Thai authorities are currently planning to create a single entry point for all international internet traffic. Through this single entry point all gateway facilities would be forced to route their services and come under direct control by the government. An official report coming from a cabinet meeting said that this gateway would allow the government to "control inappropriate websites and the influx of information and news from overseas to Thailand."

The public reaction to this proposal has been negative all around and Thailand's Minister of Information and Communication Technology Uttama Savanyana has tried to dampen this outrage. He said that this gateway is only intended to "serve basic economic needs, not for national security purposes". Uttama said that the government is not planning on forcing existing gateways to share facilities "but will ask for voluntary access to the gateway".

The country of Thailand had a single international internet gateway until 2006, when they relaxed the laws over internet traffic. Nowadays they have over 100 internet service providers who currently funnel the entire traffic from the country through nine international gateways. Apart from the issue of censorship, the critics of this proposed firewall warn that the country might be prone to total shutdown of internet traffic if all of it will be routed through a single hub.

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