Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha assured on Thursday that the Computer Crime Bill which is pending with the parliament will not deprive netizens of their rights and liberties of free expressions.
He, however, defended that the bill is necessary to block negative information from abroad which may pose a threat to national security and public peace.
Speaking to reporters during an inspection trip in Songkhla to observe flooding situation and relief efforts, the prime minister insisted that his government had no intention whatsoever to take away the rights and liberties of netizens in accessing to online information or expressing their views online.
He also assured that the bill did not advocate the idea of single gateway dreaded by netizens.
Pol Gen Chatchaval Suksomchit, chairman of the scrutiny committee on the Computer Crime Bill, said that the bill did not include the single gateway idea which appears in another bill.
He assured that the bill did not seek to give excessive powers to authorities as feared.
Netizens opposing the bill attacked the parliament website on Thursday night causing the website to crash for about an hour.
The simultaneous attack which started at about 8 pm was launched by netizens opposing the bill under the name of Single Gateway: Thailand Internet Firewall #opsinglegateway. The attack caused the parliament website to crash for almost an hour before it became operational again.
On Thursday, the Thai Netizen Network which has been campaigning against the controversial bill and Amnesty International submitted a protest note to the National Legislative Assembly together with the signatures of 300,000 people opposing the bill.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)