Nine suspects arrested for hacking websites

Nine suspects arrested for hacking websites

Police have detained nine people suspected of hacking government websites to protest against amendments to a cyber security law that critics say strengthens the authorities' oversight of the internet.

Parliament passed legislation on Dec 16 amending a cyber crime law, which rights groups said would likely to lead to more extensive online monitoring by the state.

In response, hackers launched a wave of cyber attacks last week, shutting down dozens of government websites.

The government said the websites were only down temporarily and the attacks caused minimum disruption.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters nine people had been arrested in connection with the hacking.

One of those arrested has been charged with breaking the cyber crime law, police said.

"The rest remain in custody and are being processed in accordance with the law," police spokesman Dejnarong Suthicharnbancha told Reuters.

The government has increased online censorship since it seized power in a 2014 coup, in particular to block perceived insults to the royal family.

Criticism of the monarch, the regent or the heir is a crime known by the French term lese majeste, which carries a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

Since the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct 13 and the ascension of new King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Dec 1, authorities have shut down hundreds of websites carrying what they consider to be material critical of the monarchy.

The military government is also sensitive about criticism of the 2014 coup, and a new constitution subsequently drawn up.

The government has promised to hold an election in 2017.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (2)

Full dams add to flood woes

Low-lying areas near three major dams in Nakhon Ratchasima were hit by flash floods on Tuesday after water levels in the reservoirs exceeded maximum capacity.

19:22

MRTA told to stick with old Orange Line bid criteria

The Central Administrative Court on Tuesday ruled that the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) must stick with the old bidding criteria for its Orange Line project.

19:11

India considers Taiwan trade talks as both spar with China

Support is growing within India’s government to formally start talks on a trade deal with Taiwan as both democracies see relations with China deteriorate.

17:53