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Ministry drops plans for meeting with LINE

THE MINISTRY of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) yesterday cancelled a plan to talk with the service provider of the popular multi-platform messaging application 'LINE'.

Previously the ministry, in compliance with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), had decided to make a request to LINE Corporation in Japan to inspect its database for messages from Thailand that might violate the martial law order on instigating rifts among Thais.

Pol Maj-General Pisit Pao-in, adviser to the ICT Ministry, said the ministry had called off the meeting with the company along with service providers of other social media:

Facebook and Google in Singapore.

He said the decision came after the NCPO acknowledged that users might resort to other means of communication if it imposed such a measure.

Nonetheless, the adviser urged social media users to refrain from making comments that would breach the martial law currently in force.

Pisit stressed that the ministry did not have a policy to cut the public off from the Internet, or to ban the use of messaging applications in social media.

Furthermore, he said the ICT Ministry would talk to Internet service providers who possessed their own gateway - such as TOT and CAT - to create an Internet security network.

He also mentioned the possibility of providing an affordable Internet service and creating a "Thailand Social Network" for all Thais.

Meanwhile, the NCPO said there were attempts to discredit the Armed Forces via social media following the May 22 coup.

Speaking at a daily press briefing at Government House, Army deputy spokesperson Col Winthai Suvari said some users of social networks were spreading distorted information to tarnish the military.

Winthai said one report claimed a group of undercover soldiers had abused their power by raiding people's houses, and he denied such claims.

He said if soldiers were to search homes, they would wear uniforms and conduct the raids in cooperation with police and administrative officers.

The Army spokesperson also said the majority of Thailand's joint military exercises with other countries remained intact following the coup. Only the United States and Australia had postponed military programmes with Thailand.

He also declined to answer questions from journalists on when an interim Constitution would be drafted.


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