Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Thailand will monitor its citizens on popular social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Japanese messaging app LINE.

Thailand’s constantly abused lèse-majesté law, designed to protect the country’s beloved king and queen but utilized almost solely to silence political opponents, has proven a sort of “gateway drug” to a surveillance state.

The latest lurch forward for the Land of Smiles is an announcement that it will monitor online conversations conducted by Thai civilians on social media sites, including Facebook, YouTube, and popular messaging apps WhatsApp and Japan-based LINE

Thailand’s Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) claimed the move was needed to “safeguard order, security and morality of Thailand.” 

The move to real-time online surveillance is beginning with the extremely popular LINE, which is used by 15 million Thais. Although LINE has yet to agree to the monitoring, the TCSD wants “LINE Corp. to be the the first line of surveillance and send us any ‘suspicious’ activity on their app.”

According to Global Voices’ Aim Sinpeng, the Thai public is having none of it. 

The move has “outraged the Thai public both on and offline.” Among the groups publicly condemning the plans are the Thai Netizen Network and the Lawyers Council of Thailand.

“The constitution,” said the Lawyers Council, “explicitly says state agencies must respect individual's rights, freedom of speech and expression.”

A recent Thai poll found that 74 percent of Thais were against the move, largely on free speech grounds. 

H/T GVA | Photo by Seyi Ogunyemi/Flickr

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Layer 8
A female Lebanese news anchor was told to shut up—here's what she did instead
Rima Karaki is a Lebanese TV host who isn't afraid of a fight. Things got heated Monday when Karaki was interviewing Hani Al-Seba'i about the phenomenon of Christians joining Islamic groups like ISIS. Al-Seba’i is a Sunni scholar who fled to London after he was sentenced in an Egyptian court to 15 years in prison for being a part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The United Nations considers the group to be an affiliate of al Qaeda.
thailand
Bitcoin just became illegal in Thailand
In a country where Bitcoin is illegal, only criminals will use Bitcoin. The world’s most popular peer-to-peer electronic currency ran afoul of Thailand’s Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department following a presentation on what Bitcoin is and how it works. In light of what representatives from the Bank of Thailand heard there, they’ve ruled the following activities illegal, according to a statement from Thailand’s  Bitcoin Co. Ltd.:
The Latest From Daily Dot Video
Group

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!