Computer Crime Act at work : one webmaster arrested… lese-majeste and politics again

Et voila ! The Junta designed the Computer Crime Act… and now our dear “democrat” Prime Minister, the dashing Abhisit (you know “Ofxord educated” blablabla), seems very happy to uses it.

When the lese-majeste hysteria meets an insane law designed by military… For that matter Abhisit does a synthesis.

A scary one.

The CC Act was not often used (two cases in 2007 it seems, followed by one in 2008).

(To know more about the CC Act, read my article of july 2007, and the translation here).

Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police yesterday raided the office of Prachatai’s political website and took its webmaster into custody accusing her of violating the Computer Act.

About 10 CSD officers led by Pol Col Satit Tachayapop, deputy CSD commander, went to the (prachatai.com) office yesterday. Armed with a search warrant dated March 5, 2008, they searched the office and detained Cheeranuch Premchaiphorn, the webmaster.

The CSD team accused her of violating Article 15 of the Computer Act as well as disseminating lese majeste content on the website from Oct 15 to Nov 3 last year.

The police interrogated her for hours
and copied all files from her personal computer. Chantana Banpasirichote, a political lecturer from Chulalongkorn University, yesterday used her position to guarantee Ms Cheeranuch’s bail.

Chuwat Lertkitisuk, the website editor, said the police raid could have been prompted by certain messages posted on the site’s web board.

A lot of messages have been posted, and the webmasters might not be quick enough to delete alleged lese majeste messages from the web board, he said.

CSD officers also seized PCs and relevant documents as evidence, he said.

“This is obviously media intimidation and the latest case of using lese majeste as a tool to curb freedom of expression,” said Mr Chuwat. (Bangkok Post)

It might be important to remember that this website was created by a former senator… who is the brother of Giles… the academic charged with… lese-majeste and who fled to UK.

Nothing happens by chance… We have here a deliberate campaign… A campaign of intimidation and repression. Abhisit might not have ordered it… but he supports it for sure.

Furthermore, he’s an hypocrite and a liar.

Abhisit said those in charge of the web board had a duty to make sure no lese-majeste comments were posted.

“I am willing to listen if they have any doubts,” the premier said.

Asked by the media why those prosecuted seemed to be media critical of the government, Abhisit said he would look into the matter. “They can always file a complaint,” he said. (Nation)

7 Responses to “Computer Crime Act at work : one webmaster arrested… lese-majeste and politics again”


  1. 1 Bedwyr 8 March 2009 at 12:51 am

    We are in for a rough ride as Abhisit continues to show his progressive liberal and democratic inclinations.

    It is very clear that the elite are in a state of blind panic, what with the succession problem so very close and the green shoots of idealogical rebellion springing up all over Thailand.

    Abhisit is such a disappointment. Either he is the worlds greatest sham or he is completely neutered and unable to do anything except on orders from above.

    I see that Thailand continues to make itself look ridiculous with the arrest for libel of the Swiss guy. I really don’t know why anyone would bother with these people, they are so like 12-year-old kids it is spooky.

    These people have no sense of dignity.

    Bedwyr

  2. 2 thaichris 8 March 2009 at 1:45 am

    I think it is not only the computer act or he law about less majeste. It is the entire legal system in thailand which is weard. There is a story about a Swiss journalsit (read hear http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/12962/journalist-charged-over-2002-report) beeing arrested on his arrival and could not leave the country anymore. And this case is not Thai authorities against an individual but a Swiss against a Swiss (the mastermind behind the ‘C.Care Asia International’ is a Swiss national). As long as the Thai law (and the Thai police) can act against all common human sence of freedom, we will see cases like this and Thailand’s reputation in the world will continiously erode. ‘This is Thailand’ might not help as an excuse anymore.

    The case of Mr. Mueller is highly monitored in Switzerland as Mr. Mueller is a highly respected reporter at the Swiss national TV station. After loosing it’s reputation in Australia Thailand might loose it’s reputation in Switzerland two. Just keep in ming that many tourist come to Thailand from these two countries. Such incidents could have a great impact and tourists might switch to other countries in the region.

  3. 3 fall 8 March 2009 at 3:20 am

    Remind me of movie “Lord of the Ring”.
    When you have an extremely powerful ring(power) that corrupt anyone who wield it. Will you use it or destroy it?
    And to quote Lord Acton, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    It’s just a matter of time on extending the meaning of “National Security” to include Cultural harmony and Lese ISOC. Too bad.

  4. 4 Prokster 8 March 2009 at 9:17 am

    They must be smoking crack. There is no other explanation. This palce is ready to blow. What wil be the straw that breaks the kwai’s back? No black swans here, just kwais

  5. 5 Bedwyr 8 March 2009 at 8:11 pm

    @Prokster:

    Even among Thais, many believe that civil war is inevitable and will be triggered by a single death. Thinking Thais are more or less openly talking about the France model and the Nepal model for clues as to what will happen in Thailand. The writing is on the wall but the Thai talent for self-delusion is undiminished. The crack-downs are pretty much certain to continue and become more draconian as the elite realise they are losing ground. They are already panicking and it won;t be long before they start to stampede.

    Gloomy but true – at least I think it is true. The first signs of Abhisit just being an order-taker are already out there and very clear. He is a lightweight – a cardboard cut-out figure that the Bangkok Elite are using as a shop-front, and anyone with half a brain knows it.

    Everyone knows who is pulling the strings but the dissent and resentment among Thais right now seems be unprecedented. All a bit of a worry really.

    Bedwyr

  6. 6 ThaiCrisis 8 March 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I like very much your expression : “cardboard cut-out figure”.

    I used before “Potemkin village“. But it might be too grandiloquent.

    Abhisit is going down very quickly on the respect and prestige ladder…

  7. 7 George P Tuckeer 9 March 2009 at 5:32 am

    When it comes to internet censorship, sadly, many SE Asian countries are rapidly moving towards the China model, with the notable exception of Indonesia and Philippines (correct me if I’m wrong here).

    In boom times, this would not noticeably affect economic growth. But in times like these, throwing away even the smallest advantage (and one can convincingly argue that in a sea of authoritarian states, the best and the brightest along with their investments will be attracted to the Island of Freedom) is not a smart move.


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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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