After Google was said by the military dictatorship to have cooperated in hunting down allegedly lese majeste content on Google platforms including YouTube, we are now told that Line is also falling into line.
Minister for Digital Economy and Society, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Junthong, has declared that “Line headquarters in Japan will set up a steering committee to investigate reports of lèse-majesté.”
So when he met with “representatives from Line, the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC)” on 27 October, this was to confirm the arrangement.
We again note that this news is from the junta, but it does appear Google caved in before the junta, despite weak denials that have no details. Meanwhile, the “minister stated that the junta has received close cooperation from Google and Youtube after their meetings last weekend, with many lèse-majesté web pages blocked since then.”
After the meeting with Line representatives, the air force General “told media that Line is willing to comply with the junta’s censorship measures, saying the Line headquarters in Japan will set up a steering committee to investigate reports of lèse-majesté.” He added that the “committee will coordinate with the Thai embassy in Japan, NBCT, TCSD and INTERPOL in searching for lèse-majesté content and users.”
The military dictatorship will “talk with Facebook next week,” and the cave-in on freedom of expression is likely to continue.
The claim is that this is for the “national mourning for the late King,” but everyone knows that lese majeste repression is stock-in-trade for the military junta and that this period – however long it is – will continue.
The representatives of these companies have fallen for the military dictatorship’s nonsensical claim that lese majeste is an issue of national security, where “web pages and online content [are] threatening national security.”