marcel barang

The plot thickens

In English on 24/02/2010 at 7:05 pm


…and sickens me. The latest I find about the benevolent activities of the ministry of (dis)information and (mis)communication technology is that same charming gadget ( used for (see ‘A dirty trick from Big Brother’, 12 February) being applied to … a Le Monde blog, ‘Gags et Facéties’ (Jokes and farcical remarks)!

Every Monday, Gags et Facéties comes up with a few jokes, dirty or silly depending, a few cartoons, the occasional daft video – enough to make you start the week on a laugh or two.

But not this week, not here. The MICT gadget times out access to the blog.

Gags & F is being gagged! No laughing matter, that.

Of course I made it my business to alert whoever runs that blog. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t: I expect a kind soul did relay my message, though.

And of course I made it my business to find out what was in that innocuous blog this week: I asked a friend, who sent me a copy of a cute cartoon and the words ‘Followed by cute broads at the Rio Carnival and other things unsuitable to a person my age’ – in other words, nothing whatsoever remotely concerning Thailand.

So what the blazes are they up to? And who’s next?

PS: 6pm: Gags et Facéties is back again. isn’t, though.

PPS: Since I am a former journalist used to presenting the flip side of the coin, here is what might put things into a different perspective, as sent by a well-meaning reader:

Networking Guy 19 February 2010 at 11:27 am

I’d like to post some correction here. I work as a network engineer. By seeing this in your Status Bar doesn’t necessary mean government monitors you.
My ISP for example filters this page completely and I am redirected to – they use transparent proxy caches to filter sites. Our ISP is not too big and they have tens of Net-Cache machines doing the filtering. All traffic on port 80 (http) is redirected through cluster of machines running every request via black list. These proxies can easily save log files for later analysis. Nobody knows…
What is more likely is that the page included image from site which your ISP blocked. The image was then redirected to and that’s why you could see this in your browser.
With today’s technology government can monitor anything going on the network without you even knowing it! You always make sure at least you open your emails and enter passwords over https secured connection. Transparent proxies cannot see inside and this traffic is not filtered.

But then why is still being timed out?

  1. I think there must be some misunderstanding here.

    I’ve always accessed this blog at the URL

    When I direct my browser to it returns a DNS (domain name server) error, which means that it isn’t a registered domain name.

    To double check this, I went to, a popular domain name registration service, and they list as being available for registration. Could this all be a case of mistaken URL identity?

  2. FACT, please, no need to exaggerate: Le Monde has not been blocked, only one blog of theirs (run by an outsider), Gags et Faceties, which was consistently timed out for perhaps two days but is now accessible again. I understand there may have been some wrong move at the level of my server, TOT. On the other hand, is still being timed out for me and at least one other person also served by TOT.

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