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"Thailand 4.0" : Buzz vs. Reality

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Slides used at closed door discussion on "Thailand 4.0" policy, November 2016 by Sarinee Achavanuntakul

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"Thailand 4.0" : Buzz vs. Reality

  1. 1. November 2016 Update on Digital Economy Legislation for Thailand 4.0: Buzz vs. Reality Sarinee Achavanuntakul Thai Netizen Network November 2016
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  3. 3. Source: Fujitsu, Inc. Stakeholder = everyone 3
  4. 4. Source: Chakravorti, Tunnard, Chaturvedi, Digital Planet, September 2014. Components of Digital Evolution Index 4
  5. 5. Source: WEF, Delivering Digital Infrastructure, 2014 Important factors in digital economy development 5
  6. 6. ที่มา: WEF, Delivering Digital Infrastructure, 2014 WEF recommendations for developing digital infrastructure 6
  7. 7. What should be Thai government’s “First Principles” for digital economy • Government plays only “facilitator” role – No conflict of interest with private players – Clear separation of powers and roles: Policy Maker / Regulator / Operator • Create a level playing field, encourage start-ups, no (crony-style) favors to incumbents or inefficient State-owned Enterprises (SoEs) • Avoid technological lock-in situations, e.g. allow industry / market consensus for standards • Dramatically improve security of gov’t networks 7
  8. 8. What should be Thai government’s “First Principles” for digital economy (cont.) • Use a participatory and transparent process for major legislation and measures • Build “trust” (necessary for digital economy!) for both operators and users – Strict definitions of “cybersecurity” that do not infringe upon freedom of expression, e.g. follow “necessary and proportionate” principle – Strong privacy protection & consumer protection – Clear accountability & due process, e.g. court warrants for user data – No onerous or vague burdens for intermediaries 8
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  10. 10. Web defacement in ASEAN, 2013 Source: ThreatWatch system, ThaiCERT, Jan-Dec. 2013 10
  11. 11. Poor security of government websites Source: Netcraft, 2014 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. A return of wasteful spending? 13
  14. 14. Proposed jurisdiction of DE Committee 14
  15. 15. (Some) concerns over draft DE laws (1) • DE Development Law (new) – DE Promotion Office (new entity) can both write policies (“digital economy promotion strategic plan”) and compete with private operators – Digital Economy Fund (new entity) will have funding from: 25% of spectrum auction proceeds from National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), 25% of NBTC’s income, and Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund – proceeds can be as high as 11 billion Baht: can give grant or lend to anyone according to criteria by DE Committee  lies completely outside parliament’s budgetary process 15
  16. 16. Checks & balance? Separation of powers? 16
  17. 17. (Some) concerns over draft DE laws (2) • Computer Crimes Act (revised) – Can still be abused to prosecute speech (Section 14: “entering false computer data into the computer system”), although original intent was against phishing – New wording makes it crime to enter false computer information “that is likely to harm public safety, economic security, public service, or national basic infrastructure” (in addition to content deemed harmful to national security or causing mass panic) – this is extremely vaguely worded. Better to define “critical infrastructure” as per international standards 17
  18. 18. (Some) concerns over draft DE laws (3) • Computer Crimes Act (revised) (cont.) – Safe harbor added for intermediaries for the first time (Section 15), but still does not distinguish between mere conduits, cache, and host – Safe harbor language mandates penalty for any intermediary that “collaborates, consents, or is accomplice to” crimes in the law – “consent” on the Internet is almost impossible to establish – Uses “notice and takedown” not “notice and notice” – Burden of proof rests on intermediary, not on prosecutor: contradicts criminal law principle 18
  19. 19. (Some) concerns over draft DE laws (4) • Computer Crimes Act (revised) (cont.) – Traffic retention: increased maximum from 1 to 2 years – Gives DE Minister the authority to mandate criteria, timing, and means to “prevent the dissemination or erase computer information” – this implies power to commit surveillance & hacking! – Sets up “computer information screening committee” by order of DE Minister (2 out of 5 must be from related private sector) – this committee has authority to ask court permission to remove “computer information that contravenes public order or public morals” that is against any law (Section 20) 19
  20. 20. (Some) concerns over draft DE laws (5) • NBTC Law (revised) – Strip NBTC’s independence – put under DE Committee – Mandates NBTC to “allocate sufficient spectrum for public service provided by the state” – this may prolong or make impossible spectrum re-allocation (back from the hands of government agencies, including the army). Also, locks ‘public service’ in the hands of SoE only. – No need for spectrum to be auctioned; beauty contests allowed – back to the ‘dark age’ of crony capitalism? – NBTC must “compensate” government agencies for spectrum re-allocation – this is actually their “duty”! 20
  21. 21. Telecom regulation: going backward? 21

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