Anti-fake news centre hails first arrest
One suspected hacker has been arrested since the launch of the government's Anti-Fake News Centre on Oct 11, Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said on Wednesday.
The minister said the detained suspect was tracked down as he and his accomplices used a computer programme to illegally acquire Line group users' information.
"They asked anonymous users to join groups without an invitation, then shared links to obscene websites that came with advertisements for diet supplement products," said the minister.
A court issued a warrant for the arrest of the suspect, whose name was withheld, on Oct 11. He was apprehended in Bangkok's Yannawa district and his computer devices were confiscated for investigation.
"An accomplice later turned himself in on Nov 6," the minister said.
Illegal access to a computer system is a violation of the Computer Crime Act and offenders are subject to up to seven years in jail and/or a 140,000-baht fine.
"Meanwhile, sharing obscene links can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a 100,000-baht fine," he said.
Mr Buddhipongse said that over the past month, the centre had monitored and flagged 7,962 messages on social media as possible fake news, and 45 of them had been verified as such.