APPARENTLY the Thai junta is attempting to take a page of out George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’, as it is looking to pass several amendments to the Computer Crime Act (CCA) that would allow the state to act like Big Brother, overseeing activities on encrypted websites.
According to documents leaked by the Thai Netizen Network (TNN) on Thursday, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is proposing an amendment to Article 20 of the CCA, which would give the ministry the green light to access and censor encrypted content on websites.
One of the leaked documents mention giving authorities the power to “issue a regulation for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to delete or restrain the dissemination of computer data, in accordance with evolving technology”.
The documents also mention deleting or stopping the dissemination of data through the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, one of the most common encryption technologies in use today.
Many of the most widely-used websites and platforms, like Facebook and Gmail, utilize SSL, offering secure connections to users transferring sensitive information. But the amendments would allow the government to ban the use of the SSL protocol.
The changes would also force ISPs and social media users to comply with the government’s demands – at the cost of the public’s privacy and freedom of expression.