Thailand: Ban on YouTube lifted; Veoh and MetaCafe blocked

The Thai Information and Communications Technology Ministry has lifted the ban on, Bangkok Pundit reported today.

According to The Nation, the Thai government has lifted its ban on YouTube after a deal was made between the video-sharing site and local Thai officials. Youtube “agreed to block any video clips deemed offensive to Thai people or those that violate Thai law.”

YouTube, which is owned by Google Inc, was blocked on April 4th, 2007 following the appearance on the site of material critical of the country’s revered monarch: King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thailand’s ICT Minister, Dr Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, declared to the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SAPA) “When they decide to withdraw the clip, we will withdraw the ban.

However, tow Youtube like video sharing sites, Veoh and Metacafe have been banned according to Asia Sentinel:

Veoh, a site similar to YouTube, was blocked earlier this month after a user posted a rrisque personal video purportedly of the Thai Royal Family. ICT Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom has said that YouTube would be unblocked once Thailand’s internet service providers (ISPs) have installed cache engines that allow officials to block individual URLs instead of entire websites. Supposedly this was going to happen a month ago, but still today visitors get this Thai-language message when clicking on YouTube, Veoh or Metacafe: “Sorry [state telecom company] TOT as an organization of Thailand has seized the connection of this website due to certain content, messages and images that are inappropriate that have had a tremendous impact on the hearts of Thai people.”


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