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Thailand eases Internet censorship

[JURIST] The government of Thailand [JURIST news archive] announced Tuesday it was abandoning a law that allowed the cabinet to censor political or controversial Internet sites based solely on the Minister of Communication's discretion. Now Internet websites can now only be censored by court order. The country's ban on popular video-sharing website YouTube [corporate website] will remain.

In April, Thailand banned access [JURIST report] to YouTube for hosting a video depicting Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej [Wikipedia profile] as a clown with feet pasted over his head, an insulting image in Thai culture that can amount to a criminal offense. The video, less than a minute long, received more than 16,000 viewers. The Thai government briefly considered suing YouTube parent company Google, Inc. [corporate website], but abandoned [JURIST report] the idea after the company agreed to remove the offensive video. ABC Australia has more.

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