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Thailand Gets Tough on Google, Facebook and Twitter

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Google, Facebook and Twitter, Thailand

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society on Thursday ordered police to prosecute Google, Facebook and Twitter for failing to remove illegal posts in Thailand. The Minister is also targeting social media users who posted or shared messages deemed offensive the Monarchy.

Buddhipongse Punnakanta, minister of digital economy and society, filed the complaint at the Royal Thai Police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division.

He said his ministry had sent warning letters to the operators of Facebook, Google and Twitter ordering them to block illegal information within 15 days. However the media giants did not fully cooperate.

He said the warnings attached with relevant court orders targeted 661 links on Facebook. Only 225 of the links were removed by Facebook.

The ministry did the same for 69 links on Twitter and five of them were removed. Meanwhile, 289 links on Googles YouTube were completely blocked by Wednesday.

“It is the first time in Thailand that the (computer crime) law was exercised to prosecute the service providers. Charges will go to the parent company of all the organisations.

Facebook, Twitter and Google face Fines

The police will use Thai laws because the offences happened in Thailand. I believe the police can do it,” Mr Buddhipongse said.

The minister also asked the police to prosecute social media users who spread the messages that offended theMonarchy during the anti-government protest. Mr Buddhipongse also alleged that five social media users committed sedition. Above all by putting false information into a computer system.

Two of them were Facebook users, including an administrator of a page. Three others were Twitter users who led demonstrations by students, the minister said.

The complaint was received by Pol Col Siriwat Deepor, deputy commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division.

He said Google, Facebook and Twitter breach the Computer Crime Act and were liable to a fine of 200,000 baht per illegal post. Furthermore a daily fine of 5,000 baht until they were removed.

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