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Minister unveils plan to tighten internet monitoring

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The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry is considering guidelines on collecting network traffic from internet service providers and supervising users registration on social media.

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DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn said the move was aimed to tackle fake news on social media platforms.

It would also help modernise the Computer Crime Act, with changes scheduled to be put to a public hearing in June this year.

The government has been accused of using the Computer Crime Act to target critics and opposition leaders. Thailand’s internet is rated “Not free” by US-based research institute Freedom House.

Meanwhile, from April to May the anti-fake news centre and related agencies had verified 348 cases of misinformation from 683 cases investigated, Chaiwut said.

"Of the 348 verified cases, we have clarified 160 cases for the public – 121 cases of fake news, 15 of real news, and 24 of misinformation," he said.

He said the ministry also filed charges over 321 Facebook URLs and 155 Twitter URLs for ignoring court blocking orders issued for Computer Crime Act violations.

"The Police Cyber Taskforce has taken legal action against six users and warned 12 users for publicising fake news," he said.

"Meanwhile, the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau is investigating MedPark Hospital for fake news over its offer to register people for Moderna vaccination and misinformation on the Pfizer vaccine."

 

The DES Ministry said it has guidelines for all government ministries to set up their own anti-fake news centres to correct information as quickly as possible and enhance law enforcement efficiency.

Published : May 21, 2021

By : The Nation