Tuesday, September 29, 2020

‘Big Brother’ cybersecurity law would strip citizens of court’s protection

Oct 18. 2018
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I fully agree with Anusorn Tamajai, Dean of Rangsit University’s Economics Faculty, that the draft cybersecurity law should be fully debated by the to-be-elected House of Representatives, so that the final bill addresses the concerns of all major stakeholders and thus secures buy-in.

In particular, we need to clearly and specifically define the bill’s scope and require court warrants are secured before seizing citizens’ equipment so that it doesn’t impinge on the right to freedom of expression with accountability, as guaranteed by our constitution. For example, if a journalist probes into the “General Watchman” scandal in depth, and publishes inconvenient truths, would she be in violation of the law? If she posts her article on Facebook, and citizens “like” it, would they, too, be in violation?

As British historian Lord Acton noted, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Courts are a citizenry’s main defence against the unbridled power of the state. Thus, our elected representatives need full opportunity to thoroughly vet the draft before it’s put into effect.

Burin Kantabutra

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