The government of Thailand is considering the plan of installing a single internet gateway for their country, and citizens are responding by attacking government websites. An internet gateway is the access point for a computer to connect to the worldwide web.
The proposed gateway is commonly being referred to as the “Great Firewall of Thailand”. It would be used by the government to monitor the internet and censor content that it deems unsuitable.
A petition against the gateway has already gathered more than 100,000 signatures.
Hackers in the country managed to bring down key government websites including the websites of the Prime Minister, the Defense Ministry, and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. The hackers used social media to urge internet users to go onto these websites and constantly refresh the page. This resulted in the servers of the websites being overloaded.
Other agencies run by the government were also targeted in the attacks. However, most of these websites were restored by Thursday.
Thailand previously used a restrictive government-owned internet gateway. However, it was taken down in 2006 after the communications industry in Thailand was deregulated. Once the gateway was removed, dozens of companies opened their own internet access points, which allowed for more freedom on the internet and faster speeds.
The current average internet speed in Thailand is 7.5Mbps, which is the equivalent of Australia.
Last year, a military group managed to seize control of Thailand. This military group is now in control of the government and have increased censorship in the country.
The new rulers in Thailand insist that they want to make the country a regional internet hub, but this proposed action strongly goes against that.
Introducing a single heavily-censored internet gateway will most certainly destroy freedoms enjoyed in the country, and it will be a major detriment to the country’s information technology industry.
As of now, no firm decision has been made on the matter.