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Stop threatening social network users, police told
- Published: 14/08/2013 at 09:40 AM
- Online news:
The head of the Ministry of Information unit which drafted and amended the Computer-Related Crime Act says police do not have unlimited powers to monitor what people say on popular social network apps like Facebook and Line.
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Critics say the popular smartphone app Line is not open to Thai police trying to track down lawbreakers.
Stop threatening social networkusers, police told
Pol Maj Gen Pisit Paoin from the Technology Crime Suppression Division has unveiled a plan to keep tabs on Line app users who pose a potential threat to national security KITTI WORARANCHAI
Social media users are breathing a little easier now that Surangkana Wayuparb is on their side.
Ms Surangkana is the head of the Ministry of Information unitwhich drafted and amended the Computer-Related Crime Act the law governing what can and cannot be done over the internet.
Under this law, Ms Surangkana said, police do not have unlimitedrights to monitorwhat you say through social networks like Line and Facebook.
Earlier this week, it sounded like that was exactly what police were intending to do.
It all began when Pol Maj Gen Pisit Paoin, commanderof the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD), told reporters on Tuesday that some social networkusers were threatening national securityby spreading unfoundedumours and carrying out criminal activities.
"I've noticed that more criminal offences are being committed through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Line," Pol Maj Gen Pisit told the reporters.
A Line message warns about the Technology Crime Suppression Division's plan to monitorpeople using the smartphone app. PATIPAT JANTHONG
He said he was particularlyconcernedabout recentrumours about an impendingcoup. He called on Facebook users not to share or click "like" on such messages. If a false coup message got 20,000 or 30,000 likes and was shared widely, people might believe it, he warned.
The authoritieswould look into people who clicked “like” and shared such messages, he said.
Pol Maj Gen Pisit said his officers were taking a special interest in users of the popular Line application, a smartphone app which allows users to make free voice calls and send free emails and instant messages.
As of July 21, up to 15 million users in Thailand had signed up for the Line service.
Pol Maj Gen Pisit said he will travel to Japan on Aug 16 to discuss further cooperationwith Line Corp executives. The TCSD team went to Japan from Aug 5-9 to seek cooperationfrom the developer
According to Ms Surangkana, however, any attempt to monitorsocial networkmessages requires permissionfrom a court of law.
Paiboon Amonpinyokeat, founder of law firmP&P Co, went further, saying monitoring people's social networkmessages would violateSection 8 of the act, which prohibits the illegalinterceptionof data
Adapted from a story by Suchit Leesa-nguansuk in today’s Bangkok Post.
About the author
- Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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