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Help Express Grave Concern Over Thai Computer Crimes Act (Thailand: UA 225/16)

Urgent Action
October 7, 2016
 
Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly is considering amendments to the rights-restricting Computer Crimes Act (2007). Current proposed changes preserve the Act’s powers to violate the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy including by enabling indiscriminate online surveillance and censorship.
 
For the past decade, authorities in Thailand have used the Computer Crimes Act (CCA), a law passed in 2007 and other repressive legislation to criminalize and censor online speech and to restrict the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression. The Thai government is currently considering amendments to the CCA.
 
As of 7 October, the proposed amendments fail to address key problems with the CCA or ensure that the legislation complies with Thailand’s obligations under international law to safeguard the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy. For example, the proposed amendments still allow for the prosecution and imprisonment of computer users who peacefully express their opinions online as well as internet service providers hosting sites where such opinions are posted. The proposed amendments would also preserve the authorities’ power to conduct invasive surveillance of internet traffic – in some cases without prior judicial authorisation – and to suppress electronic content deemed to threaten a variety of vaguely defined state interests.
 
The law has already been considered by the Thai Cabinet and is now before Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly (NLA), which is due to complete its review by the end of October 2016. It is imperative that the NLA use this opportunity to bring the CCA into line with Thailand's obligations under international human rights law, particularly in relation to the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy.
 
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet,
asking the authorities to:
  • Amend the Computer Crimes Act to bring it into line with Thailand’s obligations under international human rights law, and that it does not allow for violations of the rights of computer users and internet service providers, including the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy;
  • Immediately and unconditionally release anyone imprisoned under the CCA on account of their peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and expunge any convictions on such grounds.
Contact these 2 officials by 18 November, 2016:
Pol. Gen. Chatchawan Suksomjit
President, Select Committee to Consider the Draft Computer Crime Act
National Legislative Assembly
Secretariat Office, 499 U-Thong Nai Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300
Thailand
Tel: + 66 2 244 1500
Fax: + 66 2 244 1779
Salutation: Dear President
 
 
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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