The head of a popular Thai political website went on trial today, charged with violating the country's tough internet laws in a case seen as a bellwether for freedom of expression in the politically troubled nation.
Chiranuch Premchaiporn, manager of the Prachatai website, faces up to 20 years in jail on 10 separate charges of failing to promptly remove offending comments posted on the website by readers.
The 2007 Computer Crime Act addresses hacking and other traditional online offences, but also bars the circulation of material deemed detrimental to national security or that causes public panic. Several people have been prosecuted under the law, but Chiranuch is the first webmaster to be tried, and her case has garnered the attention of free speech advocates around the world. More...