Not content with lese-majeste laws to protect the revered monarchy that are among the world’s most draconian, Thailand is to build a wall around the kingdom to keep out detractors.

But the barrier will be virtual, a national internet firewall to block websites deemed insulting to the throne of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who at 80 is the world’s longest serving monarch.

For the princely sum of almost ┬г9m the Thai information ministry will shield the king and his adoring subjects from the sleights – real or perceived – of those who mock online.

– Extracted from Ian MacKinnon, “┬г9m firewall to protect Thai king from online detractors”, The Guardian, 30 October 2008.