Surveillance programme installed in Thailand's Deep South: WikiLeaks

Following revelations by WikiLeaks that the Thai authorities allegedly purchased a surveillance programme from an Italian firm, further leaked documents show that staff from the IT firm went to Thailand’s Deep South to deliver certain products.  

On 8 July 2015, WikiLeaks, a whistle-blower website, released set of email correspondence and documents which show that the Royal Thai Police and the Royal Thai Army spent €286,482 and €360,000 respectively in 2014 to purchase a surveillance program called Remote Control System (RCT) from an Italian surveillance malware vendor Hacking Team (HT).

The emails published by WikiLeaks also show that certain HT personnel went to Thailand’s Deep South to deliver products and carry out operations.

The emails show correspondence between three individuals. two of whom are IT field application engineers of the Italian firm and the third being the man who arranged their itinerary in Pattani, one of the three restive Deep South provinces of Thailand, from 30 May-6 June 2015.

There were no emails from the customers of HT included in the leaked documents. However, the emails show the two HT staff discussing the delivery of certain IT products of the Hacking Team to the Deep South.  

On Monday, 20 July 2015, Pol Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri, spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, said that the Thai police have no policy to spy on the personal information of individuals.

“We might have used it as a case study, but definitely not bought it,” Bangkok Post quoted the police officer as saying.  

Lt Col Winthai Suvaree, spokesperson of the Thai Army, also told Bangkok Post, which recently published an article on the leaked documents, that the army knew nothing about the purchase of a surveillance programme from the Italian firm.


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