#1 Thai Cyber Scouts Patrol Web for Royal Insults...
05-11-2011, 11:50 AM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Thai 'cyber scouts' patrol web for royal insults...
Wearing his special "cyber scout" polo shirt with pride, Thattharit Sukcharoen scans the Internet pages on his computer in search of remarks deemed offensive to Thailand's revered monarchy.
He is one of several dozen volunteers recruited by the Thai justice ministry to patrol cyberspace in search of anybody violating the kingdom's strict lese majeste rules -- an offence punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
"My inspiration to be a cyber scout is the king. There are many ways to protect the institute, and this is one of them," Thattharit, a 39-year-old administrative worker at a school in Bangkok, told AFP.
"Sometimes there are just fun conversations among teenagers and they think it's not important, but for those who love the royal institute, some comments that I see are not appropriate. I must report them to the authorities."
A boom in online discussion on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter is fuelling political debate and challenging Thailand's long-standing taboo against openly discussing the royal family.
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