Cybersecurity is a major concern in today’s era of connectedness. It is estimated that cyber-attacks on a nation’s infrastructure can do more damage than war or conventional terrorism. Furthermore, internet companies that gather user data also run the risk of their information being used for influencing elections and compromising democratic institutions. In an attempt to prevent data tampering, the government of Thailand passed the Cybersecurity Act that would give the government greater control over the internet in Thailand.
This law would enable the authorities to question individuals and also enter private property without court orders for carrying out searches and interrogations. Furthermore, the act also allows government agencies to seize data and hardware without even a warrant if it feels that there is a credible threat. In other words, it means that if the government of Thailand thinks that someone poses a cyber-security threat, it can initiate action against that individual without a due process. The Cybersecurity Act was followed by the Personal Data Protection Act to regulate all companies that collect user data. Basically, it encompasses all corporations that provided internet-based services.
This move by the Thai government faced significant criticism from activists and businesses, with many saying that it violates civil liberties.
While most people disagree with such laws that grant sweeping policing and monitoring powers, there are some others who also feel that this might be the only way to prevent cyber-terrorism and data misuse.