20 August 2007
Offences relating to illegal activities with the use of computers are known as cyber crimes and the Thai government has realised the need to have a clear legal mechanism to cope with such offences. Thus, the "Computer-Related Offences Commission Act B.E. 2550" (the "Act"), has been enacted and became effective on 18 July 2007.
The Act was published in the Royal Gazette on 18 June 2007 and became effective the same day. The Act consists of 2 chapters being Computer-Related Offences and the Competent Officials.
The first chapter, Computer-Related Offences, prescribes the acts that are considered computer crimes such as:
1. Providing access to a computer system which:
1.1 contains false information in a manner that is likely to cause damage to other people or the public;
1.2 contains false information in a manner that is likely to cause damage to the country's security or to cause a public panic;
1.3 contains information which is related to offences on the country's security or to do with terrorism.
1.4 contains obscene information, which is publicly accessible.
Any person, who is aware of the information as mentioned above, and disseminates or forwards such information, is also liable.
In addition, service providers who intentionally associate or allow for the above-mentioned offences to be committed via their networks are also subject to penalties.
2. Providing access to publicly accessible computer systems that contain pictures of other persons, which have been recreated or modified and that are likely to cause such persons to be defamed, insulted or embarrassed.
3. Wrongful acts relating to a computer, being:
3.1 accessing private computer systems which have specific protection measures, without authorization;
3.2 disclosing specific computer protection measures of others, in a manner that is likely to cause damages to others;
3.3 accessing computer data which has specific protection measures without authorization;
3.4 sniffing private computer data;
3.5 causing damage, destroying, modifying, changing computer data of others, either entirely or partly;
3.6. causing disruption to the computer system of others; and
3.7 sending spam mails to disturb the use of the computer systems of others.
4. Selling or disseminating instruction kits or materials developed as tools for committing offences.
The second chapter of the Act prescribes details of the authorities and the functions of the Competent Officials who shall act under the law.
If there is reasonable cause to believe that there is an offence committed under this Act, then a competent official shall have the authority to:
4.1 issue an inquiry letter to any person related to the offences under the Act or summon them to give statements, submit written explanations or any other documents, data or evidence deemed necessary;
4.2 request computer traffic data from a service provider or any other relevant person;
4.3 instruct a service provider to deliver service users related data that is in its possession or under the control of a service provider;
4.4 copy computer data or computer traffic data from a computer system, in which there is a reasonable cause to believe that offences under the Act have been committed and which is not in the possession of the competent official;
4.5 instruct a person who possesses or controls computer data or computer data storage equipment to deliver such equipment to the competent official;
4.6 inspect or access a computer system, computer data, computer traffic data or computer data storage equipment belonging to any person;
4.7 decrypt any person's computer data or instruct any person to decode the computer data; and
4.8 seize or attach the computer system for the purpose of obtaining details of an offence and the person committing an offence.
The enactment of this Act will be beneficial in preventing and suppressing cyber crimes in Thailand. The Act is likely to affect internet service providers, internet cafes and those who provide internet usage to others through public computers or wi-fi services in their businesses such as hotels or coffee shops etc. they should take precautions and protection when providing services involving computers and their usage.
For further information, please contact:
Phone: +662 677 7555 ex177
Name: Chanokporn Siripipat
Phone: +662 677 7555 ex189