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~ Bangkok Post, 2015, Privacy International has conducted previous investigations into the Thai government’s surveillance of social media as a tool of intimidation.

The group are regulating content related to pornography, terrorism, drugs, spam, phishing and copyright infringement.

The government can therefore force companies to ’behave’, for example by threatening exclusion from spectrum licence auctions.

The evidence of the revolving door between the corporate sector and the government means that those at the head of communication service providers are always in close contact with the government, thus enabling softer forms of political influence to surveil people and ultimately erode people’s privacy.

None of us know just how serious online security will become in Thailand, but the last thing you want is the police to come to your apartment or hotel with a piece of paper from the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) that says you need to pay a fine or go to jail. Thailand is adopting the policies of the western world, and what might seem like a harmless download of a movie may end up costing you time in a cell. The owners of torrent sites, illegal rackets selling steroids online and running cross-territory hacking syndicates aren't going down.

I can see it now, expats and travellers paraded on Thai TV by police officials as online pirates attempting to use Thai web space illegally. It will be the guy that downloads a few movies, or visits a couple of sites deemed “unsuitable” that gets made an example of .

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This report demonstrates how the practice is not only expanding, but the government is also experimenting with other forms of surveillance.But under pressure from the international community, Thailand is getting tougher with its online security.It wants to ensure that it is in favour when it comes to trade agreements and diplomacy with Europe and America.Privacy International is concerned about the increasing monitoring of social media and other internet-based communications services for the purpose of identifying political dissent.Surveillance in Thailand is not necessarily carried out using expensive and highly technical infrastructures.

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