Hot! Thailand Passes Cyber Crime Law

The move comes amid heavy criticisms from free speech activists

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The Thai parliament passed a controversial cyber security law amid ongoing debates and heavy criticism reports Channel News Asia.

The Computer Crimes Act was passed on Friday with 167 yes votes and five abstentions.

The law was passed despite heavy criticism from the public who felt that the amended law was more vaguely worded than its predecessor and widens the government’s surveillance and censorship powers.

Lawmaker Chatchawal Suksomjit who sponsored the bill said, as quoted by CNA, “I can reassure that this law is important and necessary but will absolutely not violate personal rights.”

Under the new law, anyone who enters “false information into a computer system that jeopardizes national security, public safety, national economic stability or public infrastructure, or causes panic”, can be sentenced up to five years in prison

CNA also reports that a new addition includes the creation of a five-person committee that can seek court approval to remove online content considered a breach of “public morals”, the definition of which has not been specified but will be up to the committee.

Students gathered outside Bangkok’s Art and Culture Centre to protest the new law as part of the Free Internet Society of Thailand (Fist) shortly after the law was passed while online and digital businesses have supported the law saying that it will end piracy.

Read more here

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