In the name of ostensibly tightening cyber security regulations, Thailand ends up walking down the slippery slope of privacy protection:
Amendments to Thailand’s 2007 Computer Crime Act to be considered by parliament next month have come under fire from critics who say the bill could give state officials sweeping powers to spy on internet users and restrict online speech.
Critics say parliament is likely to approve the amendments because lawmakers voted unanimously to pass the bill in its first reading.
The amendments come as the military government has ramped up online censorship since the May 2014 coup, particularly perceived insults to the royal family, as it tries to ensure a smooth transition following the death of revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct. 13 and ahead of a 2017 general election.
Since the coup, the government has shut down or blocked thousands of websites it has deemed offensive or inappropriate.
The amendments to the cyber law, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, have pro-democracy activists worried that they could lead to arbitrary invasion of privacy without a court warrant.
If you are a King and do not have thick enough skin to handle online criticism, and need to rely on censoring perceived insults to your royal family, then you are no true King. The more you censor, the more insults you invite.