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Thailand’s Junta Government Pushes Through Controversial Cybersecurity Bill Prior to Elections

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Junta government the National Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a controversial cybersecurity bill giving authorities the right to bypass court orders in “critical” situations.

The NLA spent two hours and 20 minutes considering and voting on the bill, which had been amended by the scrutiny committee. No one opposed the bill, with speakers only seeking detailed explanations on some points.

The controversial bill includes the establishment of the National Cybersecurity Commission, to be chaired by the prime minister. The panel will set policies.

There will also be a committee to supervise cybersecurity. The minister of digital economy and society will head it. The committee is authorized to order subordinates to gather information, documents and witnesses to support analyses on cybersecurity threats.

The bill also empowers the secretary-general of the National Cybersecurity Commission to send officials to places believed to be involved in critical cybersecurity threats, without having to seek court permission. Relevant courts could be informed of such actions afterwards.

The secretary-general of the commission and the cybersecurity supervisory committee can also continuously demand up-to-date information from parties related to cybersecurity threats and such parties must cooperate, under the provisions of the legislation.

It will become law when published in the Royal Gazette.

By Aekarach Sattaburuth
The Bangkok Post

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