Thailand government listens in on entire country’s 33 million Line users, says ICT minister
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Photo Credit; Shutterstock, Hacked or tapped communication line or cable, isolated on white

ICT Minister Pornchai Rujiprapa at a press conference yesterday said Thai authorities “can monitor all of the nearly 40 million Line messages sent by people in Thailand each day

Tech in Asia

ICT Minister Pornchai Rujiprapa at a press conference yesterday said Thai authorities “can monitor all of the nearly 40 million Line messages sent by people in Thailand each day,”according to The Nation.

The minister said citizens can lodge complaints with police if they receive messages that “offend the monarchy and threaten national security.”

Thailand has about 33 million Line users, he said, in a country with a population of 67 million.

Toting the Line

We first got word of the Thai police’s intent to wiretap Line conversations in August 2013. The Thai Prime Minister then said all surveillance would be conducted on a case-by-case basis. Other social networks and chat apps were not to be monitored because those companies – Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, etc – would not allow such an investigation.

A few days after that report, Line stated it had not received an official request from the Thai government.

Now, over one year later, the ICT minister’s words seem to indicate Line has an open door policy for Thai authorities, who can and do monitor any conversation they wish on a whim.

The minister spoke at a press conference to unveil a new set of Line stickers that promote “national core values.” That announcement was controversial in itself, as many Thais were upset that the government spent taxpayers’ money to make Line stickers. He said the production cost of the 12 stickers reached 7.1 million Baht (US$216,000).

Line Sticker เพื่อเผยแพร่ค่านิยมหลักของคนไทย ๑๒ ประการ

We have reached out to Line for more information and will update this article if they respond.

This post was originally published in Tech In Asia

Photo Credit; Shutterstock/ Hacked or tapped communication line or cable, isolated on white

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