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Single Internet gateway project sparks Thai Netizens Uproar

Thousands of internet users answered the call on social media and brought down at least three Thai government websites

Boris Sullivan

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The website of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology was down Wednesday night for several hours after the attack of the website by netizens to protest against the government’s planned launch of the single gateway to control access to all websites.

Thousands of internet users answered the call on social media and brought down at least three Thai government websites on Wednesday night by flooding them in a citizens’ “denial of service” attack.

The Thai Netizen Network and netizens opposed to the single gateway plan have urged netizens to simultaneously access to the ICT’s website at 10 pm by means of “DdoS” and press the F5 key on the keyboard for refresh.

Accroding to the Bangkok Post report, Sites affected as of early Wednesday were the main government information website thaigov.go.th, the ICT ministry’s site at mict.go.th and the defence ministry’s website, mod.go.th.

Also knocked out briefly were the websites of the state-owned TOT Plc, the firm likely to host any single gateway if it is installed, CAT Telecom and the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc)

After the attack, Thairath News reported that the Crime Suppression Division of the Thai Police announced that attackers of the government websites could be charged under Article 10 of the 2007 Computer Crime Act for such action.

The police added that they are capable of tracking down the identities of people who took part in the online attack.

In brief, Article 10 of the Computer Crime Code stipulates that any person who illegally commits any act that causes the working of a third party’s computer system to be suspended, delayed, hindered or disrupted to the extent that the computer system fails to operate normally shall be subject to imprisonment for no longer than five years or a fine of not more than one hundred thousand baht or both.

The cabinet under Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, last month gave the green light to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and relevant agencies to push ahead with the process to implement a single gateway internet system before the end of the 2015 budget year.

Opponents to the plan idea say it will restrict even further freedom of information in Thailand, with some even comparing it to the grip of a communist country like China.

A change.org petition opposing the single gateway initiative passed 100,000 signatures as of Wednesday.

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