Cyber dictatorship

PPT hadn’t realized that the Bangkok Post’s Don Sambandaraksa had moved to Khaosod. The reason for the move may be in his byline: “Ex-Post Database refugee still trying to make a difference.”

His report in Khaosod begins with a punchy account of “[a]mendments to the criminal code removing judicial oversight of wiretapping combined with new laws on cybercrime, cyber security and even the digital economy all suggest the Good People running the country can no longer distinguish between internal security and external threats.”

His next line is scary: “These laws, as written, may well criminalize satire such as internet memes and have other far-ranging repercussions for free speech and privacy.”

Proponents of the legislation want to attack “enemies of the state” but it remains the prerogative of the authorities. Under a military dictatorship this becomes doubly scary.

The military regime promises to “overhaul of the criminal code would allow police to intercept phone calls and computer communication without a court order.” The report says that the junta’s cabinet “secretly approved these amendments on Aug 9…”. A secret law!

Some of the worrying promises in the law mean that “merely possessing an image that is defamatory could land you in jail for 18 months.”

The law also targets Thais and foreigners overseas: “the new 17(2) says computer ‘misuse’ crimes are an extraditable offense.”

The article has plenty of scary stuff in it.


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