Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Thailand 23 July 2007

Concern about new law on computer crime

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the Computer Crime Act that took effect on 18 July. It allows the police to seize the computer files and online files of persons suspected of disseminating insulting or pornographic content.

“The Thai military government is using the fight against pornography to conceal an increasingly restrictive policy towards online free expression,” the press freedom organisation said. “The government must combat online criminality and the sexual exploitation of human beings without committing new violations of free speech or personal privacy.”

The new law requires Internet Service Providers to keep the online data of individual Internet users for 90 days. The authorities are empowered to examine this information without any judicial oversight. The police are also allowed to seize computers if they suspect illegal use has been made of them.

Technologies, information and communication ministry spokesman Vissanu Meeyoo said “the aim of the law is to prevent the owners of computers from transmitting pornographic content or libellous messages.”

Supinya Klangnarong, a member of the local NGO Freedom against Censorship in Thailand (FACT), described the law as “a threat and violation of privacy.” FACT said the measures “do not aim to prevent, as [the authorities] claim, but to control,” adding that the range of websites banned by the government went far beyond the requirements of the fight against pornography and “insults” to the monarchy.”

Last April, the authorities blocked the video-sharing site YouTube and several other sites with content critical of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Reporters Without Borders voiced concern about the government’s Internet policies at the time.

You can read the Computer Crime Act :

PDF - 42.5 kb
Computer Crime Act

In this country
20 May - Thailand
Internet censorship to be followed by censorship of radio and TV
29 April - Thailand
Reporters Without Borders and 31 other organisations urge Thai government to amend lese majeste law
27 April - Thaïland
Censorship lifted on some websites
3 April - Thaïland
Internet user gets ten years in jail for posting content that “defamed” monarchy
3 March - Thailand
Leading Swiss TV reporter arrested, then forbidden to leave country

in the annual report
Thailand - Annual report 2008
Thailand - Annual report 2007
Thailand - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised