Thailand Computer Crime Act

Restricting Digital Rights, Silencing Online Critics

Published: May 2022

The below is summarized from the EngageMedia and Asia Centre report.

Prior to 2007, Thailand and no need for laws to criminalise internet offenders and the internet penetration rate was so low. When rates of internet use grew, and with it online political expression, the Computer Crime Act (CCA) was introduced to fill a legal gap. Unfortunately, since its introduction the CCA has been used to restrict digital rights and silence dissenters while simultaneously blocking websites or removing content.

Under the CCA provisions, websites or content can be blocked or removed by the either the courts or the authorities. Media or individuals that express opinions against the monarch or establishment can be prosecuted. Fear of prosecution is often exploited by the authorities, creating an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) announced that the government is considering amending the CCA and studying other ways to tackle overseas cyber criminals targeting the Thai people.

This Asia Centre policy paper recommends that the Thai government review and amend rights-infringing section of the CCA, lessen harsh criminal penalties, promote digital literacy, and ensure that the provisions comply with international human rights standards. This Act and its enforcement needs to meet the measures of necessity, legality, and proportionality, and should not be used to block the flow of information and silence political critics.

Computer Crime Act; Cloud Security, photo credit Blue Coat Photos, taken from

Learn more about the issue and explore ICNL’s analyses on Technology and Civic Space here.

The International Center for Non-For Profit Law (ICNL) is proud to support this policy paper.