A major political party in Thailand has expressed opposition to the government's proposal to establish a single internet gateway.
The Pheu Thai Party, Thailand's majority coalition party, has argued that a single internet gateway will do more harm than good, the Bangkok Postreported.
The party's position in this area was announced by Thailand's former IT minister Anudith Nakornthap and deputy spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard.
Moving to a single gateway would be likely to slow down internet services and a technical problem would potentially cause services to collapse nationwide, the party members said. This could jeopardize Thailand's chance to play the leading role in ASEAN's digital economy.
The party's position is also that while moving to a single gateway would allow authorities to more easily block “inappropriate websites”, controls placed on a single gateway would potentially limit freedom of expression and threaten internet users' privacy.
Last month Thailand's military government instructed the ICT and Justice Ministries to set up a single internet gateway to control access to inappropriate sites. But after the public raised a host of privacy and technical concerns, the government backtracked somewhat, asserting that the move was purely an economic measure aiming to reduce internet access costs.
The junta has since asserted that the single gateway project is just a proposal and not an order, despite the existence of government documents including otherwise.