Even more surveillance

Using the mourning period as a “cover,” the military dictatorship seems intent on more censorship and increased surveillance. The authoritarian state is deepening and darkening.

One report states that all mobile operators will be required “to introduce an online fingerprint ID system for new prepaid and postpaid mobile SIM card registration” from early in 2017.

The authorities claim this has to do with ensuring “greater security of the mobile banking channel and prevent the risk of fraud, which is likely to increase in a cashless society,” yet fingerprint verification for mobile SIM card registration also allows the military to hugely expand its capacity to monitor citizens. All fingerprints will be maintained by the state.

Possibly related, “citing urgent cyberthreats,” the junta is considering using Article 44 to impose a “temporary authority to police online content before supporting legislation is passed.”

A report from the National Reform Steering Assembly claims that:

computer and internet systems were in such peril that a proposed body, the National Cybersecurity Committee, must be urgently empaneled by the authority of Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who heads the ruling junta and serves as prime minister.

The report warns of imminent threats that “may cause damage to national security and the government’s digital policy…” and suggested that the “National Cybersecurity Committee step aside and grant full authority to the military in cases of severe threat.”

These efforts suggest a regime determined to control everything in the name of “national security.” That means “protecting” the monarchy and the royalist regime.


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