Alan Dawson at the Bangkok Post has an important article on the military junta’s continuing determination to control the internet. He begins:
First, a brief summary before last week. The official slogan of the military regime is Thailand 4.0, which no one can explain but looks better than Digital Thailand. The unofficial slogan is Control the Internet. The official policy is Arrest Internet Troublemakers. The internet police roundel now sports the motto, We Know What You Did Last Night on Facebook. The regime Plan That Must Never Be Named is “One Gateway to Rule Them All”. Finally, there is no change to the military order of the day which is — No Change.
He refers to files found by activists that indicate the reasons behind changes to the already draconian computer laws.
The reason for the Computer Crime Act (CSA) amendments that Internet Censorship of Thailand (ICT) Minister Uttama Savanayana is trying to rush through is a stipulation that state security can legally intercept any internet traffic, at any time. All officers need do is walk into an internet providers office and order them to allow “wiretaps” on net traffic of all kinds, no limits – specifically not big-business or financial sessions.
The revised law will “allow decrypting https traffic to get at anti-royalty Facebook criminals.” He adds: “they’re already doing this, otherwise the Facebook 8 would not have been arrested.”
The amendment is already with the puppet National Legislative Assembly. The single gateway is an imminent reality.
Dawson then moves to an important development: “the rather sudden appearance of Huawei Technologies…”. Huawei poses as a “normal” company, but is state-owned enterprise-like company. Dawson speculates:
Huawei has a dual reputation as a fabulously talented tech firm, selling equipment that could, shall we say, help government efforts to crack the net. It also has the ability to inform and help and sell equipment and software to consumers to protect themselves from over-zealous surveillance efforts and password interception.