Thailand approves draft cybersecurity law

Don Sambandaraksa
telecomasia.net

While all eyes were on the revised frequency act, Thailand’s cabinet last week also approved a draft Cyber Stability and Security Act. The draft now goes to the national legislative assembly to be passed into law.

The act would set up a Cyber Security Commission, chaired by the Prime Minister, that would have the power to directly order communications providers to act or refrain from acting in any way necessary for cyber security. Individuals and companies will have to supply documents to the commission as requested and the commission can summon individuals for questioning.

Another key change is the removal of the need for a court order for surveillance of communications or for access to information.

In other words, Prime Minister General Prayuth Chanocha would have direct control over telcos and ISPs and demand they hand over logs or install tap, all without going through a court.

Any officer appointed by the Cyber Security Commission would have the legal power to read instant messages, email messages and eavesdrop on conversations in the country. Lest anyone tries to use a typewriter and the postal system, the commission can demand the same from paper mail providers.

The wording of the law also means that officials can access any computer system for information, forcibly if need be, with impunity.

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