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WiFi rule sparks call for change

New WiFi rules are unpopular

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Activists defending free speech online say they will push for changes to the controversial computer crime law following an uproar over its data retention requirement.

Arthit Suriyawongkul, coordinator of Thai Netizen, said the group will mobilise support for the law amendment.

He said the data retention requirement under Section 26 of the Computer Crime Act is being targeted for revision as one of several elements that stifle civil rights.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta on Tuesday told owners of coffee shops to hand over their customers' WiFi browsing histories as part of the ministry's campaign against fake news.

The ministry said the data would be used by its anti-fake-news centre to monitor and investigate people who share inappropriate information online.

Critics say the move is more proof that legislation is being abused by security agencies to target political dissent and hamper civil rights, not computer crime.

"This law is designed to catch bad people, but it won't be able to do that because criminals know how to acquire personal data of others and use it to access the internet and do bad things," Arthit said.

"Does the government really think they can catch bad people with this? Or is it just a way to threaten people with the knowledge that they are being watched?" he said.

Sutawan Chanprasert, coordinator of internet researcher Digital Reach, said compliance with the data retention requirement came with a cost, and the measure is placing a burden on business operators who may not know how to safely store data.

"The order [to keep log files] is broad and its purpose has not been explained, except that the data is for monitoring. The measure is based on security concerns and has no regard for privacy rights," she said.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the data retention requirement is not a violation of privacy and what the authorities are asking for is the public's cooperation.

Learn from listening

Click "play" to listen to WiFi rule sparks call for change and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.

Vocabulary:

abuse : the use of something in a bad, dishonest, or harmful way - การใช้ในทางที่ผิด

amendment : a change made to a law or agreement, in this case, to the constitution - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย ในที่นี้หมายถึงการแก้ไขรัฐธรรมนูญ

broad : general; not detailed - ทั่วๆ ไป, กว้าง, ไม่จำกัด

browser (noun): a computer program used to view webpages and content - โปรแกรมที่ช่วยค้นหาหรืออ่านเอกสารบนอินเตอร์เนต, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์ที่ใช้เปิดดูเว็บ (web browser) ตัวอย่าง เช่น Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, Google Chrome, Netscape เป็นต้น

burden : a serious or difficult responsibility that you have to deal with - ภาระ

campaign : a planned series of activities - การรณรงค์

civil rights : the basic rights that people in society should have - สิทธิพื้นฐานของพลเมือง

compliance : the practice of obeying a law, rule, or request - การยอมทำตาม

cooperation : working together to achieve a result that will benefit all sides - ความร่วมมือ, การทำงานร่วมกัน

dissent : strong disagreement, especially with those in power - ขัดแย้ง

fake : made to look like something real in order to trick people - ที่ทำปลอม

hamper : to stop someone or something from making progress or developing; to hinder - ขัดขวาง, เป็นอุปสรรค

history (noun): the set of facts that are known about somebody's/something's past; a record of something happening frequently in the past life of a person, family or place; facts about someone's past illnesses - ประวัติเฉพาะราย, ประวัติคนไข้,

inappropriate : unsuitable - ซึ่งไม่เหมาะสม

legislation : a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament - กฎหมาย, การออกกฎหมาย

mobilise : organising a group of people to do something - เกณฑ์, รวบรวม, ระดมกำลัง

regard : to consider or have an opinion about something or someone - เห็นว่า,ถือว่า

retention : the act of keeping or storing something - การเก็บ, การเก็บรักษา

stifle : to stop something from developing normally; to make something difficult for someone - ระงับ

threaten (verb): to say or indicate that you might do something bad or harmful, especially in order to make someone do something - ขู่เข็ญ คุกคาม ทำให้กลัว

violation : an action that is against a law, agreement, principle, etc. - การฝ่าฝืน

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