Thais to sue Google over king video

Government to take YouTube owners to court over offensive clips of monarch.

    The original video clip Thailand objected to has been removed but many others have taken its place 
    "Those clips are very harsh to the feelings of Thai people and our culture, and foreigners will never understand," Sitthichai said.
     
    Neither YouTube nor Google has offices in Thailand, although the parent company does business with many Thai-based websites and businesses.
     
    Google does offer a Thai language portal to its popular search engine.
     
    It set up an office in Singapore last week to expand its advertising profile in South-East Asia.
     
    'Playing a game'
     
    Commening on the government's decision to proceed with a legal case against Google, Sitthichai said officials were examining whether a suit could be filed in an international court.
     
    He said a YouTube email request for the Thai government to send it the controversial clips as evidence so it will remove them showed that the company was "playing a game".
     

    "Those clips are very harsh to the feelings of Thai people and our culture, and foreigners will never understand"

    Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom,
    Thai minister

    The minister has argued that Google ignored Thailand's petition because it is a small country, while it had bowed to Chinese requests to block certain topics by deemed by Beijing to be politically sensitive, such as references to democracy.
     
    The ministry has attempted to block all access to YouTube from Thailand since April 4, shortly after the first offensive clip appeared on the popular website which relies on contributions from the public.
     
    That clip has long since been removed, and the member who uploaded it banned by YouTube.
     
    But the publicity has led to more than a dozen other "offensive" video clips being uploaded to YouTube.
     
    Increasing government censorship of websites was cited as one reason for Thailand being downgraded 20 places earlier this month to 127th out of 195 countries on a ranking of press freedom by the US-based Freedom House organisation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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