ISPs told to take down 'hoax' sites
Internet service providers (ISPs) have been issued court orders telling them to close or remove the accounts of eight individuals alleged to have posted fake news on websites and social networks, says Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn.
Mr Chaiwut said the service providers were invited to the ministry to acknowledge the court orders yesterday.
The accounts ordered removed were registered under the names of Pavin Chachavalpongpan; Andrew MacGregor Marshal; Royalist Marketplace — Talad Luang; Suda Rangkupan; DK Ning; Aum Neko; Kon Thai UK; and, Pixel HELPER.
All eight Facebook accounts and groups are known to be critical of the government and monarchy on social media.
Some account owners are political commentators living in exile since the 2014 coup. One is Pavin Chachavalpongpan, a researcher at Kyoto University, who hosts the Facebook group "Royalist Marketplace — Talad Luang".
He is wanted by the government for violating the lese majeste law.
Under the court order, internet service providers are to remove or block information posted by the individuals on websites and social networks, along with their passwords and IP addresses, from their computer systems.
Mr Chaiwut said the ministry had explained to the providers the steps they must follow and the penalties for non-compliance.
He also warned all internet users to be careful not to break the law while online.
Sunai Pasuk, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, called the court order a censorship order instructing Facebook to ban critics of the monarchy. That will put a chokehold on people's ability to express themselves as well as on the social media platform's open space, he said.
Mr Sunai said the order showed the government's disregard for international human rights standards.