Thai ISPs ask Zuckerberg to block 600 pages

Thai ISPs ask Zuckerberg to block 600 pages

In this Nov 19, 2016 file photo, Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, waves at the CEO summit during the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Lima, Peru. (AP photo)
In this Nov 19, 2016 file photo, Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, waves at the CEO summit during the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Lima, Peru. (AP photo)

Thai internet service providers have asked Mark Zuckerberg to block 600 Facebook pages ordered closed by the Thai court.

The ISPs are members of the Thai Internet Service Provider Association (Tispa), which includes 19 landline and mobile ISPs, as well as major international internet gateway operators covering 90% of the country.

Tispa president Morakot Kulthamyothin said on Thursday the ISPs received letters from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) last week, instructing them to check whether 600 Facebook pages under court order to close were still accessible.

The Facebook pages are part of the 6,900 web pages or websites the court had ordered closed since 2015. The rest have already been blocked.

"The remaining 600 pages cannot be blocked because they are encrypted and the host servers are located abroad. Therefore, we sent emails to Facebook's CEO on Wednesday and are waiting for a response," she said.

She added the emails listed the URLs of the Facebook pages and explained to the social media giant how the content on these pages affected Thailand's economy and national security, as well as the Thai laws.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said he believed the ISPs would hear from Facebook soon and the 600 illegal Facebook pages would be blocked.

"Security officials and the NBTC will follow up on the progress and take further action against illegal websites.

"The people can rest assured -- the NBTC doesn't close their eyes and ears. We just have to take action against the wrongdoers. The government doesn't intend to block online social networks in any way," he said.

Digital Economy deputy permanent secretary Somsak Khaosuwan said the move was simply to take action on existing court orders and checked whether the ISPs had complied.

"Related agencies will continue to work and more court orders will come, " Capt Somsak said.

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