Cyber Suffocation of the Internet in Thailand

Cyber-crime and laws. Apparently not many Thais are aware of their own computer crime law, much less the technicalities of cyber-security. But then again, the word "cyber" has been widely abused by those believing that they have the right to impose regulations on the internet.

censorship in Thailand

The heart of internet use lies in Bangkok, with the growing cluster of IT experts, fueled by Thailand's insatiable hunger for social media and news. It's been a growing trend, people seem to lust for gadgets and information, a somewhat traditional mindset clash for those eager to ride the wave and the orthodox.
Recently the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) announced their intention to reform the country's computer crime law. I'm all for an organic growth of laws, but naturally they must be set in synergy with the needs and concerns of society. Laws are known to change at the whims of individuals, or taken only for those who prefer to see an internet realm of regulations and spying eyes in the name of order.

Active community participation is vital towards creating a balanced law, however quite neglected courtesy of Thai inter-politics and the need of some within the government structure to increase her profile. Laws are designed to protect the people and yet we continue seeing the gnawing of cyber-control-freaks and academics instilling dominance over the users. To serve who's agenda? The users and net neutrality? Definitely not.

People talk about balance between the exercise of authority and freedom of speech; quite an obese exaggeration of the educated with their fancy words and theories of civilized behavior. There's always a catch to something. Thailand has three laws - computer crime, e-transaction and data-protection - a mouthful for the likes of me. Reform is needed? Yes of course. But are the authorities working without the knowledge and participation of the general public?

In the end, if left unchecked, laws are tools for those in authority to sustain the power over the ignorant and those who are ostracized. Thus the beginning doom of internet freedom.

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