The Great Firewall of China is well known. The Chinese government actively tries to regulate and control what sites internet users in China can access.
Perhaps less well known is that other countries, including Thailand, also actively censor internet content. This is probably never apparent to the average internet user. Some of the sites blocked contain pornography or are for gambling. It is perhaps understandable why these might be blocked. However, other sites such as those containing sensitive information about the royal family, separatist groups in Southern Thailand and criticism of the government are also blocked.
Yesterday I found myself unable to access my favorite Thai website, the site I rely on for keeping up to date with Thai news, 2Bangkok.com. About an hour later I was able to access the site and I found this message:
Server load issues/attacks
2Bangkok.com is experiencing server load issues from both high numbers of readers and some DoS attacks on the site. If 2Bangkok.com is offline from time to time this is why. We are working to get the problem solved.
Another popular Thai blog, Mango Sauce, was also affected by the DoS (denial of service) attacks. David at Mango Sauce writes:
My guess is that someone is testing the vulnerabilities of Bangkok's most popular Internet forums so that they can be quickly silenced in the event of a national crisis.
Most Thailand-based forums - like19sep.org - have already been shut down, blocked or heavily censored by shadowy pro-government organisations but attacking websites located outside Thailand (Mango Sauce is hosted in the US) represents a dramatic escalation of this campaign.
This is worrying and I hope the international media will pay attention to this issue. The potential for further attacks and the government using it to abuse its powers is obvious.
2Bangkok.com has a page about Website censorship in Thailand. Also read about internet censorship in Thailand in a wikipedia article about censorship in Thailand.