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NRSA urges PM to act now on cyber security


Prayut encouraged to exercise new special powers.

THE NATIONAL Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) yesterday endorsed a report to modify the cyber-security draft bill and proposed the prime minister exercise his special power in accordance the Article 265 of the new charter to take action before the bill becomes law.
Pol Maj-General Pisit Pao-in, the first vice president of the Mass Media Reform Committee and president of the NRSA’s social media reform subcommittee, said the National Cyber Security Committee bill needs to be modified. The bill is still being considered by the Council of State
The Mass Media Reform Committee proposed setting up an organisation to oversee cyber security in normal and emergency situations and to assign police and military to manage its policies and operations. 
Cyber threats and attacks on websites always happen, resulting in damage and possible harm to the government’s digital economy policy, Pisit said.
He suggested that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha exercise special powers under the new referendum to take care of the matter before the law comes into effect.
The reform assembly also recommended adjusting the definition of cyber security in Article 33 of the bill to cover all cyber-security threats, according to Somya Pattana-woraphan, secretary of the media reform committee. 
The private sector should also be included in the law since it is most involved in cyber activities and Internet communications, he said. 
Somya said that the National Cyber Security Agency should be a state agency rather than a normal jurist entity, as detailed in the bill, in order to enforce the law, he said. Competent officials who are special in particular areas should get additional special income according to government’s rules, he added. 
The committee proposed adding more areas to cyber security, rather than only politics and commerce, such as Internet services, telecommunications, and infrastructure as well as public services, military security, the country’s internal security and economic security. 
Kamnoon Sidhisamarn, an NRSA member, said in the debate yesterday that he disagreed with the idea of having a state agency with the power to control the private sector for the benefit of cyber safety. 

‘Providers may quit country’
Another member, Sompong Sakawee, warned that the Computer Crime Bill and the Cyber-Security Bill will force social media providers such as Line, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to move out of Thailand, and that is in conflict with the government’s Thailand 4.0 scheme.
Pisit said the Cyber-Security Bill is designed to protect the Internet system, which is different from the Computer Crime Bill’s protection of victims. The Cyber-Security Bill does not emphasise “content” but instead focuses on “computer systems”, he added. 
Pisit said that the websites of government organisations have been attacked, causing millions of baht in damage and leading to credibility issues. The standard the organisations will deploy for securing their systems will be determined, he said.

Published : November 28, 2016

By : PRAPASRI OSATHANON THE NATION

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