Blogger reportedly held under new computer crime law
Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the reported detention of a Thai blogger for the past 12 days under the new Computer Crime Act, which took effect on 18 July.
"We call on the information and communications technology ministry to take an official position on this arrest, which would be the first of its kind since the adoption of the Computer Crime Act," the press freedom organisation said. "It confirms our fears about the dangers of a law that is supposed to combat pornography but turns out to be a way of restricting and controlling press freedom."
The website site Prachatai.com (http://www.prachatai.com/english/news.php?id=180) quotes a "reliable source" as saying a 36-year-old computer programmer was arrested because of comments posted anonymously on web forums. The offending post appears to have been one deemed "critical of the monarchy." After being held for six days at the Police Crime Suppression Division office, he was reportedly transferred to a Bangkok prison on 30 August.
The Computer Crime Act allows the police to seize computer files from people suspected of circulating insulting or pornographic messages. Information and communications technology ministry spokesman Vissanu Meeyoo said at the time its aim was "to prevent the owners of computers from transmitting pornographic content or libellous messages.