Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bangkok Post: Thai Totalitarianism Coming to Cyberspace

Thailand gets new cyber crime law

By Supichaya Rakbua

Bangkok Post

The chief immediate effect of the new bill will be to outlaw any attempt to get around government censors to access any of the tens of thousands of sites censored for moral or political purposes, or "to damage the country".The government pushed the new law by saying it hopes the bill will provide an effective legal tool to fight cyber crime, including theft of data and chatroom contacts that lead to rape.

The National Legislative Assembly approved the Cyber Crime Bill, which gives officials power to crack down effectively on hacking and internet-related crimes through harsher punishments.

The bill sailed through its third reading on Wednesday by a vote of 119 to 1. It requires royal endorsement before it can be formally enacted into law.

The bill regards as a crime the intention to withhold internet protocol (IP) addresses and violators are subject to severe punishment, according to the NLA special committee assigned to scrutinise the law.

The IP is a unique address used to identify computer users while communicating with others on the network. However, the committee said, "ill-intentioned users" often hide or falsify their computer addresses so that they can easily carry out illegal acts and get away with them.

The committee believed tighter controls on IP addresses would help tackle the root cause of cyber problems.

Penalties apply to all illegal acts using the internet, including those carried out abroad and deemed to "damage the country both directly and indirectly".

I thought this last coup was supposed to bring more democracy and political freedom.

The generals lied, of course, and there won't be any consequences for their lies.

Now, what were the reasons for the coup again?

Here is the rundown of the what has occurred since the "democratic" coup:

Thaksin is free and still has all his money.

Thai Rak Thai party members are free, organizing to be in power again, and still have all their money.

No indictments against anybody for any corruption or malfeasance during the Thaksin years.

More corruption since the coup.

More terrorism since the coup.

No democracy since the coup.

A horrible constitution will replace the 1997 constitution.

The generals are dipping into the state coffers for propaganda purposes.

The generals are dipping into the state coffers for political purposes.

The generals are putting themselves at the helms of state agencies again, interfering in business again, and taking pleasure trips all over the world using the tax payer's money.

The economy has stagnated and by all indicators slowed a lot since the coup.

The generals handpicked legislators have passed laws that are moronic.

The general's policies in the South have led to more violence.

The general's economic policies have caused a lack of confidence in the foreign community.

The generals have nationalized a foreign asset, iTV.

The generals have wages various right-wing nationalist propaganda campaigns to boost their popularity.

The generals have dressed themselves up in yellow and have hidden behind sufficiency theory to justify their horrible performances and idiotic policies.

And now, the "democratic generals" are putting the screws to those in cyber space who oppose their idiocy. Why shouldn't they? The generals already have the Thai broadcast media, the newspapers, and radio stations in their back pocket, so why shouldn't they control the internet also.

But, of course, only Fonzi at his insignificant little blog and a few others are bothering to point any of this out, as Thai totalitarianism continues to roll on without any criticism.


Anonymous said...

(From Matty)

Silly Generals who can't shoot straight are now resorting to cybergames.

We should be thankful these Generals would be gone by the end of the year before they further embarrass themselves.

Anonymous said...

A minister of our southern neighbour Malaysia even recently proposed that bloggers should be registered -- you see that the Orwellian Big Brother is ready to watch you.

Also, beware of the fact that these silly but ambitious generals want to stay longer. I doubt they will return to the barracks by the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

These military bastards (sonthi, saprang) are of course doing double standard -- allowing astv station to operate while obstructing ptv station from going to the air.

Naphat said...

Even with the generals gone, that law will still be very much around. I hope someone challenges the constitutionality of the bill (once we actually have a real constitution!).

anon said...

What this really means if that if somebody makes an comment insulting the King your your website, Fonzie, and the government requests that Blogger/Google provide that poster's IP, and Blogger/Google refuses to do so, then Blogger/Google is guilty of a serious offense.

BangkokAl said...

patiwat, no.
What that law really says is that if a website is blocked, and you use a proxy to see it, then you go to jail.

There already were laws about ISPs providing IPs, and this law extends them. This is the first time it becomes against the law to read a site the regime has decided you should not.

anon said...

BangkokAl, could you please clarify? The article didn't make it clear how the IP-related clauses were extended. It appeared as if the government declared that it had the authority to make anybody anywhere comply to its requests, or else.

Anonymous said...

outrageous. The grandstanding of ministers and the headlong, lemming-like rush to out-do each other in showing how much they love HMK is starting to get nauseating.

Have these people got no brains or self-respect at all?


Anonymous said...

Will this intended law cover proxy governments too?