Shin Satellite denies claims of phone tapping

30 Jan 2007

(Bangkok Post via NewsEdge) Shin Satellite has denied the interim government's allegations of phone bugging via satellite, saying it does not have the technology to facilitate such an act.

However, tapping of satellite phones could be possible if a device was installed in the equipment of both the sender and the receiver, said Shin Satellite president Nongluck Phinainitisart.

Nongluck clarified how satellite-controlled operations worked, and denied any knowledge of spying.

'In practice, tapping conversations from a satellite needs a large satellite dish launched in orbit to tap the signal between the sender and the receiver. But it's still very difficult to pinpoint exact signals,' she said.

Nongluck reiterated that Shin Satellite had never bugged communications, as such an action would be a violation of the law and an abuse of codes of conduct. It also required the installation of eavesdropping devices, which needed a license.

Bugging of phones via surveillance satellites, she said, could not happen in Thailand since there was no such satellite in commercial operation here. US companies that do manufacture surveillance satellites are also prohibited from exporting such technology.

Nongluck said Shin Satellite simply functioned as a middleman to deliver a signal from the sender to the receiver.

Shin Satellite, 41% owned by Shin, has become embroiled in controversy over foreign investment in the telecoms sector.

Army leaders recently said satellite communications could be compromised due to Shin Satellite's relationship with Shin, which was taken over by Singapore's Temasek Holdings last year.

© 2007 Bangkok Post

© 2007 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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