The junta has given the green light to a new version of the Criminal Procedure Code that allows police to intercept communications. On 25 April 2017, Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesperson of the Prime Minister's Office, announced that the cabinet has approved an amended draft of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). Under the section on evidence collection, the bill allows police to intercept communications to and from criminal suspects.
Thailand’s army chief has said that the Army Cyber Centre will closely monitor news deemed defamatory to the Thai Monarchy. On 1 November 2016, Gen Chalermchai Suthisad, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army (RTA), said that the army will use its cyber centres to monitor distorted news from within and outside the country. This relates especially to news that violates Article 112, the lèse majesté law, of the Criminal Code, Matichon Online reported.
The Defence Ministry has given a green light to the plan to establish an ‘Army Cyber Centre’ to boost the military’s online defence capacity and deal with online threats against national security. Maj Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanich, spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence, announced on Monday, 22 August 2016, that the ministry has approved a draft bill called ‘2017-2021 Cyber for National Defence’, the BBC Thai reported.
The Thai Army has established an ‘Army Cyber Centre’ to boost the military’s online defence capacity whose primary task is to protect the Thai monarchy. On Monday, 19 October 2015, Gen Sommai Kaotira, Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, the commanders-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army, Navy, and Air Force, and Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Chief of the Royal Thai Police, met at the Military Headquarters in Bangkok to announce the establishment of the Army Cyber Centre.
A recent piece of investigative journalism by The Bangkok Post has provided evidence of Thailand acquiring an advanced electronic surveillance capability.
Thailand’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) is developing and testing software to intercept internet communications which uses a secure protocol in order to better intercept and block lèse majesté content, according to a leaked document.
The Thai authorities have denied reports that they are intercepting a popular smartphone chat application to hunt down lèse majesté suspects.
The Thai authorities revealed that they can access all communications made by 33 million Thai users of the popular chat application, saying it specifically focuses on lèse majesté messages.
Despite the censorship and surveillance already imposed on the press and Internet users after the coup d’état in May, the junta is now exacerbating an environment of fear by further tightening its control over social media.
Thai authorities reportedly planned to implement a surveillance device starting from 15 September to sniff out Thai Internet users, specifically targeting those producing and reading lèse majesté content, a report says. Although the report is yet to be confirmed, it has created greater climate of fear among media. Prachatai has received unconfirmed reports from two different sources.