ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap stressed his disagreement with the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) in checking people’s communications on Line application, saying it would be an infringement of the individual’s right to communication.
“Line has been widely used worldwide and everyone is entitled to it. I assure that the government does not have any policy of violating an individual’s right. Checking chats on Line must be approved by the developer of the programme,” he said.
About 7.3 million people in Thailand have registered with Line and the application has been downloaded by at least 15 million people from the total 200 million users worldwide. Line users in Thailand are the third highest in the world.
TCSD chief Pisit Pao-in said the measure was to monitor offences concerning weapons trading, drug trafficking, prostitution and violation of intellectual property through communication on Line.
He denied allegations that the TCSD was finding fault among people chatting on Line and ruled out an allegation that it would violate human rights.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said it was not the government’s intention to restrict people’s freedom of expression and the use of the application should not be related to national security.
“If the agency is checking or following (someone), it should be on an individual basis,” she said.