ICT plans national gateway to curb abuse of internet

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry plans to create a national internet gateway in July to crack down on improper use of the internet.

The creation of the gateway has been ordered by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) as an "urgent priority" to administer the use of the internet, govern content on websites and tackle provocative information and improper content, the ministry's permanent secretary Surachai Srisarakam said.

The planned establishment of the national internet gateway will be in collaboration with the Royal Thai Army as well as the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, the Royal Thai Police and the National Intelligence Agency.

The two state telecom enterprises, TOT Plc and CAT Telecom, plus six telecoms and internet service provider (ISP) firms will operate the facility.

Mr Surachai said the gateway will also provide protection against unexpected computer viruses targeting the country.

"We want the national gateway to be a more effective tool than the current mechanism for regulating internet use," he said.

Mr Surachai also said the ICT Ministry closed 219 websites between last Thursday and yesterday under martial law. He said ISPs are required to closely monitor content on their websites.

For social media, Mr Surachai acknowledged that state agencies might have to "ask for cooperation" from the operators of Facebook or Line to tackle improper content.

Acting police chief Watcharapol Prasarnratchakij has meanwhile ordered the chief of the Bangkok police, commanders of all nine police regions, the chief of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) and the Southern Border Provinces Bureau commander to accelerate all lese majeste cases, said deputy police spokesman Anucha Romayanan.

Pol Gen Watcharapol wants those facing court warrants for lese majeste offences to be arrested quickly, said Pol Maj Gen Anucha.

Investigations must be sped up so police could seek court approval to issue arrest warrants for lese majeste suspects, he said.

The CIB chief has been asked to monitor all types of electronic media and work with state agencies to block any websites containing offensive comments against the monarchy, the deputy police spokesman said.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter