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October 03, 2016

Cambodia was in the spotlight in the 33rd regular session of the United Human Rights council. The report from the UN Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith highlighted two concerns when it came to telecommunications industry - a vague and yet draconian telecoms law adopted last year and a totally secret cybercrime law that is currently being drafted.

The report from the Special Rapporteur noted that, “the law on telecommunications adopted in 2015 requires telecommunications companies to turn over certain data to the Government upon request”.

Article 6 of the law obliges... MORE

September 28, 2016

Priorities. It is never about what people in government say is important, but rather what they do first. In this case, the question is why did Thailand's military junta feel it so important that they needed to overrule a budget watchdog investigation and fasttrack state telco TOT’s rural broadband project?

TOT’s rural broadband project has been the subject of a lot of controversy. There were early reports - which the then ICT Ministry strenuously denied - that the entire $433 million (15 billion baht) project consisted of three pages and was simply a front for the Single Gateway... MORE

September 16, 2016

Thailand’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is no more. Henceforth it is consigned to the history books and replaced by what a strict translation would be Digital Ministry for the Economy and the Society, though everyone is (thankfully) calling it the Digital Economy Ministry.

I must admit the passing of the MICT brings a tear to my eye. I was part of the MICT from day one, no from day zero. I remember being introduced to its first Permanent Secretary back when it was still run out of the Office of the Civil Service Commission. About a month later in 2003, I was... MORE

September 09, 2016

At the National Telecommunications and Broadcasting Commission open forum, interestingly titled “stealing online money via the mobile phone”, I asked the delegates a number of questions, none of which got answered.

Much of the conversation revolved around security of the ID card. Everything in Thailand seems to revolve around ID cards. It is a single point of failure. The fact that a citizen now needs to present an ID card when entering buildings or doing something as mundane as sending a package at the post office means that the chances for someone to take the information from the... MORE

September 02, 2016

The recent spate of bombings in Thailand coincided with a debate about whether or not to introduce special tracking SIM cards for foreigners in the country in the name of national security, not that the argument made much sense to begin with.

The idea was first floated by NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit, who stressed the policy didn’t come from the military government but came from a meeting of telecommunication regulators of 10 ASEAN countries in Phuket on August 2. Special tracking SIMs would be issued for foreigners. After the inevitable backlash came, the message changed... MORE

August 10, 2016

Days after securing a democratic mandate for less democracy, Thailand’s ruling military junta has turned its attention to the most important crisis that is gripping the country - Pokemon Go.

National Council for Peace and Order deputy leader and Deputy Prime Minister General Pravit Wongsuwan has ordered Pokemon Go banned from secure army facilities while an army barracks in the Northeast has put up a sign threatening Pokemon trainers with three years’ in jail for trespass.

NCPO leader and Prime Minister General Prayut Chanocha said that operators would need to be held... MORE

August 03, 2016

The Pokemon Go phenomenon is taking the world by storm and is making many adults look very, very silly.

No, I am not talking about adults spending hours and hours every day hunting down Pokemon. After all, getting up off the desk or couch and walking like mad to catch’em all and hatch those Pokemon eggs is great for your health, never mind the reason. Getting mugged, shot or having to be rescued by lifeguards after catching Pokemon by the seaside during a rising tide is, however, another matter.

Rather, I am talking about those adults in Thailand who are running the country... MORE

July 22, 2016

On July 15, Prime Minister and junta leader General Prayut Chanocha used article 44 of the Thailand’s interim military constitution, commonly known as the absolute power clause, granting indemnity to the telecoms regulator for censoring all broadcast media with no recourse to the judicial process.

This was just after the Administrative Court had ruled against the regulator’s order to shut down Peace TV, a station loyal to the previous regime of Thaksin Shinawatra, on July 6.

A day later, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krue-ngam came out to say that the use of article 44 had... MORE