Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Net's new dangers

The Net's new dangers
Wed, Jan 07, 2009
Daily Xpress/Asia News Network

Alarm bells were triggered yesterday by the rising danger of the Internet and chatline services for young users. The warning came from the Mirror Foundation's IT-Watch Centre, which grouped its findings into four threat categories.

The first is peeking-tom clips, which made the headlines last year with cases like the blackmail video of a gang rape of a Matthayom 1 schoolgirl. The phrase "aep tai" (sneak filming) was used in 4 million searches per month last year, the centre said, adding that "aep tai" forums got an average of 100,000 hits per month.

The second threat comes from Internet chat programs and phone chatlines, which have been used by adults to lure young girls into sex, or to rob them. The centre found that 12 girls went missing after using these services last year, three more than the previous year.

Networking site Hi5, with a fast-growing and mainly young membership of more than one million Thais, is the third threat. Alongside campaigns of personal abuse and slander, there is evidence that the site is being used by people to groom youngsters for sex.

Last in the Mirror Foundation's danger list is Thai youths addiction to computer games - both online and off. With 23,000 gaming cyber-cafes registered, Thailand has been named second after Japan as Asia's most game-addicted country. The warning comes after the incident last year in which a Mathayom 6 schoolboy who killed a Bangkok taxi driver claimed that he was copying the action in his favourite game, Grand Theft Auto.

Top 10 online games

1. Audition

2. Special Force

3. DOT-A

4. Luna Online

5. Pucca Racing

6. Freestyle Casual

7. Cabal Online

8. Ragnarok Online

9. Perfect World

10. Hip Street

Top 5 offline games

1. Pro Evolution Soccer

2. Need for Speed

3. Prostreet

4. Grand theft auto 2

5. Red alert

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