Thai police purchasing new software to monitor social media

In a move to discipline netizens, the Thai police has set up millions of baht of budget to purchase a new software to monitor social media.    

According to Blognone News,The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) of the Royal Thai Police has announced a  bidding to purchase a software to monitor facebook, twitter, and a Thai-language website discussion forum.

According to the spec of the software listed on the government procurement document, the software will be able to collect public posts on facebook profiles and pages, pulling information from twitter accounts targeted by the authorities, and collect great amount of data from blogs in, together with comments on Pantip blogs.

The purchasing document was signed by Pol Col O-lan Sukkasaem, Director of the 3rd Division of the TCSD. The total budget of the purchase is 12,806,400 baht (about 355,560 USD).

Unlike other similar products, the TCSD want new surveillance software will be able to process the information of arrest warrants and people listed in the police records with facebook and twitter profile pictures of over half a million individuals.

Blongnon reported that the hardware of the program will use 22 softwares and its servers will be located in two information centers of the TCSD.

In October 2015, the TCSD organised a media forum titled ‘Think before posting...clicking might lead to jail’ on 23 October 2015.

According to the publicity for the event, which will be held at Central World Shopping Mall in central Bangkok, the forum is organised under a TCSD project called ‘Online Clearing, We Love the King’ to increase public understanding that posting, sharing, or clicking on online contents allegedly defaming the monarchy are considered as ‘online criminal offenses’ under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lèse majesté law.

In the same month, the authorities announced the establishment of the Army Cyber Center.

Currently, the establishment of the Army Cyber Centre is still in its initial stages.

According to the documents of the meeting about its establishment organised by the Subcommittee of Information and Communication Technology of the Army on 28 April 2015, one of the important operations of the Centre is to keep track of information on media and social media and to sort them out systematically.