Digital minister wants cafe customers' search histories

Digital minister wants cafe customers' search histories

Says it is to combat 'fake news'

Users of WiFi internet services offered by coffee shops might find the government scrutinising their browsing history for
Users of WiFi internet services offered by coffee shops might find the government scrutinising their browsing history for "fake news" in future. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta has asked owners of coffee shops with WiFi services to compile and turn over their customers' browsing histories for the last 90 days.

Mr Buddhipongse told reporters on Tuesday the search data will be used by  the "fake news centre" in tracking down what were deemed be false reports, which caused rifts in society and disunity, he said. 

The fake news centre, formed in August, would investigate those who disseminate online what is deemed to be false information in violation of Section 26 of the Computer Crimes Act, he said. 

In August, the ministry appointed four subcommittees under the fake news centre to deal with four topics they say are most susceptible to the spread of fake or fraudulent information.

Those topics are: natural disasters, the economy (including finance and capital markets), public health, and state policy and security.

Mr Buddhipongse made the announcement at the Techonology Crime Suppression Division during a press conference on the arrest of a young man for "inappropriate tweets" under the strict cyber laws now administered by his ministry.


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