The Culture Ministry's Thai website has been hacked by a group demanding the ministry return the banned political soap opera "Nua Mek 2" to the public.
The hackers, who called themselves "The Bad Piggies Team", posted a "Nua Mek 2" banner and two messages: "Return Nua Mek 2 to Us" and "HACKED by THE BAD PIGGIES TEAM" showing intermittently with a cartoon avatar of a green pig head.
They were posted on Wednesday morning. The website was shut down shortly afterwards.
The ministry's website in English was not hacked.
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The Culture Ministry's website was hacked by The Bad Piggies Team on Jan 16, 2013.
The hacking of the Culture Ministry's website comes amid continuing public resentment over the axing of the final episodes of the popular soap.
People are still posting critical messages in social media websites demanding the government explain why the prime time drama was unexpectedly taken off the air.
This is the second attack on the ministry's website in two days. On Tuesday, an unknown hacker posted a pornographic banner and links to gambling websites on the ministry's website.
The site was also closed down for a while Tuesday night.
On Jan 7, the TV Channel 3 website was also hacked by a soap opera lover who posted the message "Where is my Nua Mek?" across the homepage.
Unlimited Hack Team claimed on their Facebook page that they were responsible for breaking into Channel 3's website.
Channel 3 abruptly cancelled its broadcast of Nua Mek 2, creating a public outcry and suspicions of political interference. Pressure on the station is growing to broadcast the final episodes.
The Broadcast and Telecommunications Operations Committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has yet to make any decision on Channel 3's abrupt and unexplained action.
Committee chairman Natee Sukolrat said the panel was still waiting for a subcommittee to compile and submit a report.
The committee was initially of the opinion that Channel 3 had the right to decide whether to air or pull any soap opera.
Col Natee said the committee must be careful in considering whether the content of Nua Mek 2 was in breach of Section 37 of the Broadcast and Telecommunications Operations Act because the law involves sensitive matters.
Section 37 prohibits radio and TV content deemed detrimental to the monarchy, national stability or public morality.
Critics claim the programme was pulled because it was too political, with its story line of corrupt politicians, black magic and a lucrative satellite contract, alleging pressure was applied by fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is living abroad, or someone else acting in his interests.
Below is one of the scenes in Nua Mek 2 rumoured to cause Channel 3 to take the show of the air. In this scene, a prime minister (wearing glasses) tells his assistant that he will disapprove a dubious one-billion-baht satellite project proposed by a corrupt politician because the money should be used to improve the people's well-being and education. Thaksin is a former satellite tycoon who also facilitated a controversial loan with Myanmar, used to buy satellite services, when in office.
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