ore censorship and encryption-breaking is on the way, thanks to the Thai government’s broad interpretation of the term “cybersecurity.” The government has been leaning heavily on American social media companies to disappear content critical of… you guessed it, the government. To keep the king from being insulted too often (or for too long), the government is also exploring undermining website encryption and holding service providers directly (and criminally) responsible for the words and deeds of their users.
Another round of amendments has made Thailand’s cybersecurity law worse. It seems almost impossible, given its history. And yet here we are, watching as the government gives itself everything it wants, leaving citizens with the dubious privilege of generating tons of data the government can access at will.
The bill (available in Thai) was amended late last year following criticism over potential data access, but it passed the country’s parliament with 133 positives votes and no rejections, although there were 16 absentees.
There are concerns around a number of clauses, chiefly the potential for the government — which came to power via a military coup in 2014 — to search and seize data and equipment in cases that are deemed issues of national emergency. That could enable internet traffic monitoring and access to private data, including communications, without a court order.