Published: 3/02/2011 at 03:06 AM
Newspaper section: News
A Cambodian web blog is calling on its readers to launch a cyberwar against the Bangkok Post to help counter what it sees as biased media coverage.
The blog, run by a group called "Cambodia Air Defense", published an article on Jan 31 calling for readers to attack the Post's online advertising revenues by submitting false reports to Google Adsense.
"We have realized it is possible to attack back this Bangkok Post, and this is the idea of today post: online attack exercise. We would like to share this to all readers who facing trouble with online media around the globe," said the authors in broken English.
Cambodia Air Defense claims to be a "part of Infantry, the Royal Cambodian Army. Our works aiming to contribute an assistant to other 10 departments of the National Defense to cope with Insurgency in Thai-land."
The site is run by Boeun Chan Born, a researcher who in 2006 ran Preap Khmer, a non-governmental organisation set up to monitor the use of the media in humanitarian programmes in Cambodia. Mr Boeun's Twitter profile lists the "National Defense Ministry" as his location.
Thai security officials are apparently aware of the blog. Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, speaking to several hundred battalion commanders Wednesday, told the military to help monitor online websites for provocative and defamatory statements against the country.
Aree Jivorarak, head of the ICT Ministry's IT Regulation Bureau, said the ministry monitored 400 to 500 sites a week for violations of domestic computer laws.
If the court agrees that online content is in violation of the law, criminal action can be taken against the webmaster, or if the site is located abroad, then the ICT would block the site from local access.
Relations between the two nations have deteriorated sharply in recent months over the border dispute near the Preah Vihear temple.
The latest escalation of tensions came on Tuesday, when a Phnom Penh court sentenced Thai Patriots Network coordinator Veera Somkhwamkid to eight years in jail and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaiboon to six years for espionage.
The two were in a group of seven Thais arrested on Dec 29 in Banteay Meanchey province by Cambodian authorities for trespassing, spying and illegal entry into a military area.