Thailand’s New Cyber Law

Thailand is pretty strict when it comes to cyber-crime and cyber bullying, a reputation arising from cases such as one where a Bangkok court convicted a man for offending the Thai royal family on Facebook. The 34-year-old man was jailed for a term of 35 years for criticizing the Thai monarchy. Surprisingly, Thailand has just gotten stricter on this issue, with this new cyber law.

Cyber law gives Thai government control over data in case of emergency

The Thai government recently passed a cyber law that raises serious questions about privacy. Designed for cyber security, the law will enable the government to seize data in cases where the government thinks it is matter of national emergency.

The wording of the bill allows the government not only to monitor internet traffic, but also to access the private data of offenders without any court order. Is the law necessary? Should other countries pass similar laws?  From a privacy perspective, one might argue that it is a matter of private data and no person or business would want the government to seize their data on account of cybercrime or suspicion of cybercrime.   It is likely that many countries would refrain from dispensing with the need for a court order to access private data, due to privacy concerns.

The Asia Internet Coalition Disapproves of the Thai Cyber Law

The AIC (Asia Internet Coalition) already seems unhappy with the law. The AIC, which is an alliance of tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook, said recently that it is quite disappointed to hear that the National Assembly of Thailand has voted in favor of the Cybersecurity Law.

Jeff Paine, the managing director of the group, said the law highlights a loosely-defined national security agenda instead of guarding people against cyber threats.

The main objective of the law should be protecting online security, the AIC argues, but the vague language of the bill only raises concern regarding individuals’ privacy.



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