National security and cybersecurity

12 07 2022

We had a couple of posts on “national security” recently and feel the need to continue on that theme following two recent agreements signed by the regime. Both articles are deeply disturbing when it is considered that both partners have long records of human rights abuses.

One article in the Bangkok Post reports that Thailand’s National Cyber Security Agency has signed an MOU with the National Cyberspace Administration of the People’s Republic of China…”. When authoritarians come together on something like this, it should be deeply troubling.

According to the report, the “purpose of the MOU is to develop cooperation in the field of cybersecurity between the the NCSA and CAC through exchanges of information, skills and experiences. This in turn will support technological innovation, economic growth and social development. In Chinese-style officialese, it is said that promoting cooperation in cyber affairs “will help achieve peace and stability in cyber dimensions, reduce the risk of cybercrimes and increase opportunities for economic growth and prosperity through digital commerce.”

Such notions, pasted onto Thailand’s national security infrastructure that is unusually focused on the monarchy and political opponents, the impression is of deeper cooperation between authoritarian regimes on cyber-snooping and political repression. We have posted plenty on Thailand’s cybersecurity. Tech site The Register has this recent news on China’s.

Another article at the Bangkok Post reports an MOU with the Israeli National Cyber Directorate, “to enhance cyber security collaboration and protect the public from cyber threats.” The Israeli ambassador to Thailand said: “Israel has been fighting in wars for so many years, and when we are fighting a war, we know who the enemies are. We know where the borders are. But cyber attacks don’t have locations or borders and this isn’t something we can deal with alone. If we want to deal with it effectively, we have to collaborate and learn from each other…”. On Israel’s cyber-snooping, see an example here.

Thailand’s National Cyber Security Agency secretary-general, Gen Prachya Chalermwa (of course he’s a general!), said “his organisation was established to prevent, cope with and mitigate any risk from cyber threats, especially in protecting the country’s critical information and infrastructure.” That is all well and good as there’s plenty of reason to deal with cybercrime. But, Thailand doesn’t fight external wars; it goes in for domestic political repression.



2 responses

18 07 2022
Cyber-snooping | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] few days ago we posted on agreements between the military-backed government and the cyber agencies of China and […]

24 07 2022
Political repression unabated | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Cyber-snooping, lawfare, and locking up opponents without bail seem to be the regime’s main means of repressing opponents, including monarchy reform activists. But, as Thai Lawyers for Human Rights reports, so is heavy-handed harassment. […]

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