Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT)
The Thai Digital Federation has urged lawmakers to amend the Computer Crime Bill draft, saying that it opens space for authorities to suppress rights to freedom of expression.
The Civil Court has dismissed a case brought by Prachatai against the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) for shutting down the website during the 2010 political violence; the Director says Prachatai will appeal as the verdict does not answer the question why the website faced a shutdown over a report that also appeared in other media.
The proposed amendments to the controversial Computer Crime Act will increase online surveillance and censorship by expanding legal boundaries and obliging Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to comply with government censorship measures.
After the Defence Ministry gave the green light to the Cyber Security Bill yesterday, human rights organizations urged the government to reveal details of the bill for public scrutiny. Amnesty International (AI), iLaw, an internet based human rights advocacy group, and Thai Netizen Network (TNN), a civil society group advocating internet freedom, on Tuesday, 1 March 2016, issued a joint statement to demand that the authorities disclose to the public the Cyber Security Bill, the Protection of Personal Information Bill, and the amended draft of the Computer Crime Act.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) has blocked a website used by anti-single internet gateway netizens to carry out attacks on government websites. On Sunday, 4 October 2015, the MICT blocked ‘refreshthis.com’, a website used to carry out cyber-attacks on government websites by many people opposing the junta’s plan to reduce internet gateways to one.
Despite the recent cyber-attacks on government websites from netizens opposed to the single internet gateway, the Thai authorities say that they will continue to study its feasibility. On Thursday afternoon, 1 October 2015, Uttama Savanayana, the Minister of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), held a press briefing about symbolic cyber-attacks on several government websites on Wednesday night by internet users who oppose government plans to reduce internet gateways to one.
Thai police have threatened to use the Computer Crime Act against anyone attacking a government website to protest the single internet gateway plan. At around 6 pm on Wednesday, 30 September 2015, www.mict.co.th, the official website of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), went down after it was attacked by internet users who are against the Thai authorities’ proposal to eliminate multiple internet gateways.
Thailand’s telecommunication authorities have admitted that a plan to reduce the number of internet gateways down to one is for ‘national security’, but added that it will also boost the country’s IT capacity to compete with other nations.
The cabinet under the junta has ordered relevant agencies to speed up the process to reduce multiple internet gateways to a single one in order to increase the efficiency of the state’s surveillance system. The cabinet under Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, last month has given a green light to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and relevant agencies to push ahead with the process to implement a single gateway internet system before the end of the 2015 fiscal budget.
More than 100 Thai websites have been attacked by a self-proclaimed Tunisian electronic jihadist group. According to the latest report of the Thai Computer Emergency Response Team (ThaiCERT), an agency which monitors online threats in the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), 106 Thai websites have been attacked by the Fallaga Group since May 2015. The group claims to be electronic jihadists from Tunisia.