Activists stage protest against Computer Crime Act

Thai netizens have staged a protest against the draconian Computer Crime Bill the junta’s lawmakers recently passed.  

At 3 pm on 18 December 2016, four youth activists gathered at Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC), Bangkok, to stage a symbolic protest against the new controversial Computer Crime Bill.

The junta’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed the bill during the third reading with 167-0 votes in favor and five abstentions on Friday.

One of the four, Aomthip Kerdplanon, a student from a group called ‘Free Internet Society of Thailand (FIST)’, said the NLA should reconsider about the new bill or abolish it.

Despite the fact that more than 360,000 people voted against the bill through Change.org, the government just unjustly ignored it, so I wanted our voices to be heard, said the student activist.

“The ambiguity of this bill make us feel unsure about how it could be used. We are afraid that since the language of the law is quite ambiguous, it could be used to deal with political dissidents. [There are also effects on] privacy and businesses,” said Aomthip.  

She added that her group is not related to pro-democracy activist groups while the other three said that they did not plan to join the protest before hand.

Before the protest started, about 50 police officers put up fences in front of the BACC to prevent the gathering.