Amid outcry by thousands of users that the single Internet gateway and privacy will violate the rights of individual privacy and free access to information in Thailand, the Ministry of information and communication Technology still defended the project stating that the project is intended to drive a single gateway project towards national security and bring economic benefits to the country. “This controversial plan to impose a single internet gateway to be able to control all websites in the country and filter information will damage and eventually destroy the reputation and accomplishment Thailand has been building for decades.” The head of private websites stated.
After a lot of debate within the month of August 2015 on the matter, Thailand military government finally stated that it had scrapped the whole plan of creating a single internet gateway to allow the authorities further monitor the content before any implementation.
This plan to consolidate the ten internet gateways in Thailand into a central point governed by the government to enable it to filter certain content that they consider not to be of public interest received the least support since the government came to power.
Following the bloodless coup last year, Somkid Jatusripitak, the deputy Prime Minister and a former finance minister stated that the plan had been put to a halt.
The worst fear was that the single gateway plan would destroy competition in the country, and it was a strict measure to stifle free speech. It also raised concern that internet speed would drop, and it would definitely hurt most online businesses and anger the common internet users all over the country.
Some people believe that the government will implement the plan when people forget about it. A project manager of internet dialogue at iLaw, Yingcheep Atchanont stated that the government may be pretending to agree with the public that the plan is not good but later revive it when the demonstrations cool down. However, Somkid was quick to state that the government mean what it says, and the plan will not be implemented without the knowledge of the public. He said this during an economic forum in Bangkok.
There is already heavy internet surveillance in Thailand, and anyone who uses the internet incorrectly can be charged under the computer crimes Act, 2007 that provides sentences for up to 5 years for offences committed against the Kingdom Security.
Activists stated that Thailand has to ensure that the Internet benefits everyone and governing of the internet should not be decided by a few ill-informed official or uninformed civilians.…