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ICNL – Freedom of Expression in Thailand

This post is also available in: ไทย

Since the rekindling of the democratic movement and political activism in Thailand in 2019, there has been an uptake in the usage of the Computer Crime Act (CCA) against those using the internet and social media for political expression. Despite its amendment in 2017, the CCA has retained many of the problematic, vaguely-worded provisions that allow for a criminalisation of freedom of expression. To justify the persecution of online users under the CCA, online criticism directed at the government has been treated as ‘fake news’ or ‘disinformation’ affecting national security or public morality.

EngageMedia, in partnership with research institute Asia Centre, conducted in-depth research identifying the impact of the CCA on freedom of expression in Thailand. Under this project, EngageMedia has produced an evidence-based policy paper drawing from desk research and consultations with human rights lawyers, professionals in the technology sector, policy advocates, and members of the academe.

“Thailand Computer Crime Act: Restricting Digital Rights, Silencing Online Critics” is available in English and Thai.

Report Thailands Computer Crime Act

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Published on 8 June 2022, the report analyses how the CCA’s contentious provisions restrict digital rights, including freedom of expression and rights to privacy. The report also provides case studies of how the CCA has been used to deny public access to critical content, harass and prosecute critics, and put pressure on tech companies and internet service providers to take down content that the government deems critical. It also puts forward key recommendations for the government, civil society, and tech companies to promote solutions that respect and uphold digital rights.

The report is supported by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL).

Spread the word about the Computer Crime Act

Aside from the report, the project also involves an impact campaign to stimulate engagement with local audiences in Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region.

Through these activities, the project aims to:

  • Increase awareness and capacity of the Thai public to acknowledge how the CCA affects their digital rights, and how to safeguard freedom of expression online
  • Strengthen the network of digital rights advocates, technology experts and human rights lawyers in Thailand.

Below are visual materials that you can use to spread the word and raise awareness about the Computer Crime Act and its impact.

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