Analyst: Cybersecurity bill needs revising

Analyst: Cybersecurity bill needs revising

The new cybersecurity draft bill will give the government too much power in governance of the cyberworld, warns a legal expert.

The bill will also violate human rights and privacy as well as impede foreign investment, P&P Law Firm founder Paiboon Amonpinyokeat said yesterday.

"The draft must be revised thoroughly by the National Legislative Assembly in order to prevent abuse of power by the state," he said.

Section 35 of the draft cybersecurity bill allows the national cybersecurity committee to access people's information through email, telegraph, fax and electronic devices in the name of national security.

"This practice is a violation of human rights. Accessing such information requires consent approved by a court," Mr Paiboon said. "No country in the world has implemented such measures."

He said the bill could threaten to put a chill on foreign investment, especially by global internet companies wanting to invest in data servers and web servers in Thailand.

In addition, Section 20 of the proposed Computer Crime Act also allows the Information and Communication Technology Ministry to block websites if the law requires.

"This clause is too general. It should not be too broad in scope," Mr Paiboon said.

In comparison, the existing Computer Crime Act states that the government can block websites that pose a threat to national security or promote terrorism or lese majeste.

Mr Paiboon added that the new laws governing the digital economy would give too much power to the soon-to-be-established Digital Economy and Society Ministry.

Dhiraphol Suwanprateep, a partner at Baker & McKenzie, said there was no balance between privacy and the need for national security under the latest draft bill.

The computer crime draft bill's primary objective is to tackle cybercrime, he said.

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