Since the 2014 military coup, the dictatorship has been seeking to control … well … everything. Most significantly, it has been trying to surveil, control and censor the internet.
At the moment, despite massive opposition, the puppet National Legislative is about to pass amendments to make the Computer Crimes Act even more draconian.
The opposition has been in the form of a petition for no other “opposition” is permitted.
denied the bill would lead to a single internet gateway, saying it [the revised bill] would allow authorities to track the sources of any posts that were harmful to society…. Otherwise, such posts could be used to instigate disorder or violence….
The Bangkok Post reports that
serial liar puppet junta spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd has also “denied claims that the bill to amend the Computer Crime Act is linked to the single internet gateway proposal.” Specifically, the never-to-be-believed Sansern stated: “This is not true. The government has never had an idea for a single gateway whatsoever…”.
Sansern “added that the bill is aimed at modernising computer crime law to suit changing technologies.” He babbled,, as he usually does, about “cyber threats that affect national security, sending spam, or spreading doctored images and content.” He means “protecting” the monarchy.
The problem for Sansern is that one of his masters, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan declares “the country needs a single internet gateway to cope with ‘information attacks’ launched from other countries…”. He means information on the monarchy.
Gen Prawit blared that “for the sake of our defence” he wants a single gateway.
The Post states that just one of the “most controversial issues” in the revised bill is “a five-member committee will be set up to screen computer information even if it does not violate any law but is considered a breach of ‘public morals’.” They can then block it.
Another threat is the broad definition of “threats”: “those who enter false information into a computer system deemed to damage national security, public safety, economic security, public services and infrastructure, or cause panic among the public.”
According to one lawyer, so-called threats to national security will allow the junta and succeeding regimes will allow them to “censor opinions” and “sue people who voiced their views…”.
One of the responses by the junta has been to double-down, adding new and broad powers to the bill at the last moment.
Update: While an editorial at the Bangkok Post called on the NLA to “uphold its honour by rejecting the deeply flawed draft amendment to the 2007 Computer Crime Act and send it back for further revision,” it dutifully followed the orders of the junta. The notion that the puppet assembly has any honor is quite bizarre. After all, they are the well-paid minions of the dictators. In the end, the “junta’s hand-picked lawmakers, the majority of them military and police officers, voted 168-0 with five abstentions for changes that could give authorities unchallenged authority to police the web and suppress criticism.”