Panel gives army, police cyber security reins
The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) panel on media reforms has proposed that military and police officers handle both policy and operation in ensuring cyber security.
The proposal is included in the panel's report for a study conducted on a cyber security bill, presented at an NRSA meeting on Monday.
The report was approved by the NRSA in a 141-1 vote with five abstentions.
Pol Maj Gen Phisit Pao-in, deputy chief of the panel, insisted the bill needs more details to be comprehensive.
He said the cyber-security framework must be underlined, and it has to be consistent with strategic plans adopted by all security agencies.
A key agency must be identified to take care of cyber security situations in both normal and emergency situations, he said.
Military and police officers must play a role both in advocating policies and carrying out ground operations in dealing with the cyber security problems, Pol Maj Gen Phisit said.
After the new constitution is put into force, the prime minister should use his power under Section 265 of the charter to set up a national committee to maintain cyber security for a specific period of time before the bill is enacted, he said.
The approach is needed because it could take time for the bill to be approved by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and come into force, during which damage could arise to the country's security and the government's policy on the digital economy.
However, Kamnoon Sidhisamarn, an NRSA member, expressed concerns about empowering officials to deal with cyber security.
"Would it be necessary for the officials to regulate the private sector in the whole process?" Mr Kamnoon asked. Details should be drawn up on how much the authorities can regulate and operate.
He also insisted a national committee on maintaining cyber security lacks the participation of public and private sectors.
Another NRSA member, Sompong Sakawee, said he was worried that the bill might affect the businesses of Line, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and drive them away.
Pol Maj Gen Phisit insisted the bill is aimed at shielding the internet system from cyber attacks. He said the websites of Thai state agencies come under cyber attack every day, causing damage worth hundreds of millions of baht.
Under the bill, there will be a central standard measure set for each agency to adopt in protecting their computer systems, he added.
The NRSA also suggested stepped-up measures to boost military security and approaches to educate the public about cyber security laws.