Police deny buying hacking gear

Police deny buying hacking gear

The Royal Thai Police has denied buying hacking software to illicitly gather personal data from mobile phones and computers.

"We might have used it as a case study but definitely not bought it," said police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri.

The force came under the spotlight after the Bangkok Post Sunday reported it had bought the software from Italian surveillance malware vendor Hacking Team (HT) for more than 10 million baht.

Pol Lt Gen Prawut insisted the Royal Thai Police had no policy to carry out surveillance on people's personal information.

The force can monitor social media for criminal investigations, so it had no need to buy such software, he said.

Bangkok Post Sunday reported the purchase based on HT emails and documents released by WikiLeaks on July 8. The Royal Thai Police and the Royal Thai Army were named as customers of its remote control systems, also known as Galileo and Da Vinci.

One email listed the Royal Thai Police as purchasing products worth €286,482 (10.7 million baht) in 2013, while the Royal Thai Army spent €360,000 in 2014.

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