Minister defends Telenor Thai Facebook block

Minister defends Telenor Thai Facebook block
A DTAC employee at the company's Bangkok headquarters. Photo: Telenor
Norway's industry minister has defended the country's majority state-owned telecoms company Telenor for blocking access to Facebook in Thailand on the orders of the country's new military junta.
"It was a question of shutting off or being shut down, Monica Mæland told Aftenposten, citing Telenor executives she had spoken to on what she described as a  "complicated and difficult" situation. 
The newspaper reported on Saturday that Telenor had blocked access to Facebook on its network when a military junta took power in a coup on May 22nd. 
Access, an American human rights group, has accused Telenor of aiding the junta. 
"By blocking access to Facebook, Telenor has helped to break the Thai people's right to freedom of expression and their right to access to information," the organisation's political adviser Peter Micek told Aftenposten. 
Telenor has targeted its international expansion on South and South East Asia, buying shares in networks in Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. 
It is the largest international investor in DTAC, Thailand's second largest mobile phone company, with a 42.6 percent stake.

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