Submitted on Tue, 2017-12-19 20:43
The junta’s lawmakers have proposed a law which will allow authorities to tap the phones of politicians suspected of corruption.
On 19 December 2017, Meechai Ruchupan, chairperson of the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), expressed concern that the junta’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is proposing to grant the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) power to track the communication devices of people holding political positions.
The CDC chairman is worried that the proposal would give too much power to the NACC and could breach the 2017 Constitution’s sections on individual rights and privacy.
“I understand that those who are working want to have power but if you hold power for too long, it will become a double-edged sword which is dangerous,” Meechai stated, adding that the CDC stands opposed to the NLA proposal.
“Members who voted [in favour of the proposal] might not understand and think that having power is fun but you are drafting laws that will last forever. I think it’s inappropriate but if the NLA insists, it’s up to them,” the chairman further added.
NLA chairperson Pornpetch Wichitcholchai insisted to the media that although telephone tapping would affect individual privacy, it is a necessary measure to suppress serious crimes. He added that phone tapping is nothing new for Thai society since this measure is already allowed under the Computer Crimes Act.
He also stated that some democratic countries have used telephone tapping to combat serious crime, and the United States imposed telephone tapping to fight terrorism after the 9/11 attacks.