Internet Censorship in Thailand Gone Ugly, Blocked Page Redirects Users to Porn Site

Thailand is well known for its heavily censored Internet. The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT) has frequently announced the large number (thousands) of blocked websites as its major achievement.

Normally, a visit to government-blocking website via Thai internet service providers (ISP) will redirect to a government’s landing page with the message “this site has been blocked”. The styles of these landing pages are varied to government agencies that take charge (e.g. MICT or the police).

thailand-censorship

On Tuesday, some Thai internet users noticed the ‘redirect’ from one of government’s the landing page to a porn site. The question has been raised: how can this happen? The landing page, http://TCSD.info, was operated by the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD), a division of Royal Thai Police.

After the news about the redirection broke out, the division quickly announced that TCSD.info is not its official web site and they have only one web site called http://TCSD.in.th.

That is a complete lie. TCSD.info has been used as the landing page for TCSD for a very long time. There’s still an article on TCSD.in.th (claimed for official site) about how the links on TCSD.info work.

At the moment, TCSD.info is already inaccessible, you couldn’t visit it now. The WHOIS data was quickly sealed by a privacy guard service. The last record before it was sealed said the domain was operated by a person who use an email address “sp.chaiyasing@gmail.com”.

A user from ThaiSEOBoard, Thailand‘s SEO Community, dug up that email address and it appears to be used by a user “idon-studio” on the same internet forum. “idon-studio” has the record of posting a comment that he gained a large sum of income by banner advertisement from an ‘unknown website’. He got 4,290.95 USD within five weeks earlier this year. It is very likely that “idon-studio” got rich by porn advertising commisions from large amount of traffic redirected to TCSD.info.

Internet censorship in Thailand is always an opaque operation. The MICT always denied its responsibility for many website blackouts, including Facebook blackout in 2014. Now it should be the time to call for transparency in the censorship process in Thailand.

Source – ThaiSEOBoard

Article originally published on Blognone.