Thai govt on the backfoot over single gateway

28 Sep 2015

National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commissioner Sethapong Malisuwan has jumped to the defence of the government’s controversial single gateway internet control program, arguing that a centralized hub would make it much easier to monitor cyber criminals proactively, rather than after a disaster has happened.

The commissioner also asserted that all developed countries have similar laws and mechanisms for national security reasons, citing the US, UK and Singapore as examples.

Sethapong said that state-owned CAT Telecom would be, as predicted, operating the single gateway, or as he prefers to call it, the hub. He said he would be summoning executives from the existing nine gateways soon.

Elsewhere, junta deputy leader Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong said that the single gateway was just an idea and said that they were only thinking of merging the gateways of the two state owned telcos, CAT Telecom and TOT Corporation to cut costs.

Prime Minister’s Office Spokesman Major-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd also said that the Single Gateway project was just an idea and that the government respects the privacy of its citizens and will abide by the law.

Sansern went one step further and denied that the cabinet had ever ordered the establishment of the Single Gateway.

Meanwhile, more official documents are continuing to be unearthed. One of them is an order from the Prime Minister’s secretariat expediting the project dated 27 August which refers to a cabinet resolution of August 4 that ordered the ICT Ministry to set up the single gateway and to report back to the cabinet by the end of September. The order is stamped extremely urgent, published on the official cabinet website and is signed by cabinet secretary Ampon Kittiampon.

Elsewhere NBTC director Thanongsak Sukhanindr took to social media to suggest that perhaps they had got things a bit mixed up and that Thailand should be copying South Korea, not North Korea when it comes to ICT development.

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