Prawit: Single gateway is a must

Prawit: Single gateway is a must

Prawit: Single gateway is a must
Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, deputy prime minister and defence minister, insists a single gateway to the internet is absolutely essential to defend Thai interests, at a media conference at the Defence Ministry on Wednesday. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)

The country needs a single internet gateway to cope with "information attacks" launched from other countries, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon insisted on Wednesday.

Gen Prawit was responding to renewed opposition to the single gateway, with the National Legislative Assembly due to consider the third reading of the Cyber Security Bill on Thursday.

Gen Prawit said that "for the sake of our defence" a single gateway was necessary, because ill-intentioned people with just a mobile phone could send audio to another country, from where they could be transmitted back to the country over the internet.

This practice had been detected in Laos, he said - an apparent reference to his earlier aired concern that Thai lese majeste fugitives holed up in neighbouring countries used social media to attack the government and the royal institution.

Gen Prawit said that Lao authorities were cooperating well with Thailand on coping with the messages, but authorities had no idea where the people themselves were.

Asked wouldn't a single internet gateway affect the basic rights of people, Gen Prawit said the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission would handle the matter. Everybody, including himself, would be subject to the same law, he declared.

The government was prepared to protect government websites from attacks by opponents of the introduction of a single gateway, he said.

Last year, hackivists launched repeated denial of service attacks on the home pages of many state websites, overloading the servers and crashing the websites.

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