They did it : law requires companies to store all Internet data for 90 days

Until this day, we had doubts. It seemed too big to be true (read here)… The shamefull Cyber Crime Act, pushed by the Junta in 2007 (read here)… included an obligation for “Internet services providers” to store Internet traffic data for 90 days.

Log systems for everybody ?

The burning question was : what is the definition of a “services provider”. Internet cafes or other public places ? Or all privates companies, with a just computer network and an Internet access (for email for instance) ?

This article published in Bangkok Post today, with quotes from an official of the IT Ministry seems to give a final answer…

They dit it ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s important to note that Thailand is the only country in the world to have such obligation… I mean even China does not have such requirement…

Can you imagine the mess ? And the costs of such broad technical obligation ? The endless new opportunies for corruption (what we can call “targeted implementation of laws and regulations”)… ?

It’s unbelievable, astonishing.

From Aug 23, private firms, organisations and government agencies will be required to store all internet traffic data for 90 days so it is available as digital evidence for police. Pol Col Yannapol Youngyuen, commander of the Bureau of Technology and Cyber Crime at the Department of Special Investigation, said the IT Ministry order has no exceptions and will include banks, hotels, schools and internet cafes.

He said digital evidence gathered from computers is useful in tracking those engaged in cyber crime.

Cyber offences, ranging from email forwarding of pornographic pictures to posting libellous messages on forums, are on the rise, Pol Col Yannapol said, but police agencies find it hard to gather the evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice.

He said internet cafes will also be required to collect information to identify computer users, such as ID cards, time of logging in and sites visited. Shops that fail to heed the rules will face fines up to 500,000 baht, he said. (Bangkok Post)

And what is even more astonishing is the silence of the current government (democratically elected as we say). They should abrogate this infamous law designed by the generals. But it seems that Samak has other, more urgent, priorities…

And what about the “opposition”, the so called Democrat Party, led by Abhisit, the so called “new thai politician” educated in the UK ? Again, a striking silence.

If we can assume that Samak and all his friends don’t give a rat shit about Internet, right to privacy and freedom, what are the positions of Abhisit on these issues ?

Accomplice nothing less…

Poor Thailand…

UPDATE AUGUST 15

A very interesting commentary published by Bangkok Post : “Cyber crime: Big Brother is watching” (with timeline, and other details, and particularly on the very broad interpretation of the law from the ICT Ministry).

13 Responses to “They did it : law requires companies to store all Internet data for 90 days”


  1. 1 tom_bkk 13 August 2008 at 3:25 am

    Is that a new stimulus package for the IT industry.

    Who will shoulder the costs?

    Or work arround, order a private ISP package as a backup …

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 13 August 2008 at 7:30 am

    The costs ?

    Which costs ?

    Do you seriously believe that the thai SME’s will… do it ?
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Even without an IT department, many small companies have a computer network with one shared Internet access.

    I’m wondering how many will buy a log system (hardware + software)…

    We are swimming in pure insanity with this law…But that’s the point to live there, right ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. 3 tom_bkk 13 August 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Well, I dont mean the SME’s in particular with that.

    What about the others? Imagine to create a log of all the sh..t which is going arround in universities … and as well large enterprises.

    It’s pure insanity … and I believe, almost now one will do it!

  4. 4 Bangkok Pundit 13 August 2008 at 1:15 pm

    One could always use GPRS on pre-paid phone and a VPN.

  5. 5 fall 13 August 2008 at 1:32 pm

    The Dem is pro this law anyway.
    But shame on PPP government for passing this law.

    The law might be interpret as beneficial if use strictly for fighting cyber crime, like identity, credit card, or fraud. But the potential for misuse is too great. If this law cannot be specifically limit it use, then it should not come out at all.

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 13 August 2008 at 4:14 pm

    -> Fall.
    I think it’s fair to remember that the Junta created this law. And then, the NLA (the so called Parliament, created by the Junta) voted it.

    The PPP is not the source.

    However, since its victory in december, the PPP didn’t make any move to critizise this law.

    I think it’s fair also to say that “potential for misuse” is like an understatement. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    This law is a walking monster as far as freedom and privacy are concerned.

    It gives striking power to security services, without any balance.

    Beyond the point of the logs… this law allows the police to come to your house, and seize your computer WITHOUT ANY WARRANT, on the simple assumption that proofs of “cyber crimes” (AKA a simple porn picture sent by email to a friend for instance) are on your hard disk…

    This is well documented since june 2007… but no one cares.

    The logs issue is a good way -I hope- for people to talk again about this law, the whole law.

    As Tom said, it’s pure insanity.

    The thai people, and the farangs (foreign companies) need to wake up and send a clear message to the thai authorities.

    The Kingdom is not Burma, North Korea, nor China.

    Or if it is, then it must be clearly stated by the authorities.

    But enough of this thai janus hypocrisis with on one hand the smiles and the strong desire to be part of the modern world… and on the other hand such crazy piece of law that sends the country back in time.

  7. 7 kv 13 August 2008 at 5:33 pm

    This is very very odd. Extremely. As that kind of logging is purely insane and almost impossible. It is possible but extremely dangerous. Just looking how big time ISP’s have fought against such demands in Europe. Yes, now UK put in place even strickter loggings and EU is demanding all email headers and who sent to who information. But not to this day they have talked about this level of saving data. Unfortunatly it will go towards that in Europe too but Thailand? Come on, there isnt even such technology avaialble in country like Thailand when much more advanced ISP’s and countries in Europe have had difficulties to save up information for these purposes. And come on, “porno in chain emails”? Are you kidding me? That they really would like to fucking CATCH AND SAVE EVERYONES EMAILS! WTF these clows are doing!

  8. 8 fall 14 August 2008 at 1:29 pm

    However, since its victory in december, the PPP didnโ€™t make any move to critizise this law.
    They might or might not, but since no media give a coverage. I am not giving the benefit of doubt on this case. Co-consperitor is almost as bad as committing the crime itself.

    a simple porn picture sent by email to a friend
    Dont you just love it when people forward porn email without deleting the whole chain of past forwarder?
    Sometime you can actually see the full name and position of all those in the mail.

    But you are right, this law is a walking monster. If it is a monster without a definite scope/understanding/restriction, then dont let it out.

  9. 9 TG 16 August 2008 at 1:45 pm

    It’s one thing to collect data, but another to actually use it, or be capable of using it. I doubt that authorities here have adequate bandwidth in their offices let alone much capacity to deal with computer-related issues.

  10. 10 ThaiCrisis 17 August 2008 at 1:21 am

    -TG. Watch out, we are talking here about “local” log systems. No need bandwidth.

    Basically, in front of a company’s local network, there is a router/modem ADSL to share one internet access… This is the location to create a log system that will record and store (requirement of the law) all in and out traffic.

    If the authorities “think” that a “cyber crime” have been commited in the company, they will just come and take the log system, in order to follow the lead until the end user in the company (the guy who sent the email with a porn picture, like we said).
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Now if you say that this law is from a technical point of view, inapplicable… then I agree with you.

    As I wrote before, the real problem is not really the law itselft (inapplicable, all the SMEs are going to ignore it)… the problem is that it creates a new opportunity for pressure and corruption.

    If authorities want to nail you, for whatever reasons, then they could use this law. And you could say nothing, even though all other companies do not respect it.

    It creates further uncertainty.

    The corrupted, the thiefs, the thugs love the fog of uncertainty.

    It’s good for their business.

  11. 11 Hoktula 15 October 2008 at 4:57 pm

    one observation

    recently (perhaps a week ago) I was in some mall and needed to check my e-mail urgently. so, I found internet cafe in there and to my shock, was asked to produce some ID document or passport.
    this is a very big news for me since NEVER before I was asked any such thing in so many internet cafes here in Thailand – but the girl who was a manager/ cashier in that internet cafe has told me that it is some new law….

    well, here we go – now to be able to check your e-mail you must provide ID which will be put on file, along with the time you have used internet in that particular spot.

    I wonder though – does that rule apply to ALL customers, or do they only try to be so rigid with foreigners? the same as it seems – they are too zealous to check bags of foreigners in subway, as if they truly believe that it is the foreigners who are the main threat (of potential bomb attacks – as on New year 20007). ridiculous paranoia !


  1. 1 Draconian new internet data law - Ajarn Forum - Living and Teaching In Thailand Trackback on 13 August 2008 at 8:08 am
  2. 2 Thai males at internet cafes - Page 3 - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum Trackback on 9 November 2008 at 5:10 pm

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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