Thai Court Rules Against Fake News Law and Says Thai PM Already Has Tools To Deal With Speech

The Thai Civil Court recently ruled in favor of the media by suspending Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s regulation that restricts freedom of speech and threatens internet censorship.
The court said it was against the law.
The court’s decision was also announced in English.
Regulation 2548 (2005) (No. 29), which permits the suspension of internet service for Internet Protocol addresses (IP addresses) that have disseminated illegal information, violates Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations,” the announcement reads.
They assessed the witnesses and documents and issued the injunction after examining and assessing them.
According to the court, there are many legal instruments establishing standards against illegal dissemination of information, and the government is able to educate the public, develop a better understanding, and challenge false information, hence the suspension of such Regulation will not hinder public administration in an emergency.
A complaint was filed against Gen Prayut, the Director of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, by the Human Rights Lawyer Alliance and 12 media companies.
According to them, the 29th regulation should be rescinded, which allows the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to cut off internet access to social media users posting content that may be frightening.
The petition listed three arguments. The prohibition on content “which may frighten people” is unclear and may conflict with criminal law principles.
In addition, the regulation empowers the NBTC to check and block internet access, which is illegal. The emergency situation decree currently in effect prohibits blocking communications between people. It can only be done under a serious emergency situation decree, but it was not in effect today.
Third, it violates Section 35 of the constitution, which affirms press freedom. The government may not block an entire platform or channel, such as an IP address, if it wants to block content.
The Reporters, VoiceTV, The Standard, The Momentum, The Matter, Prachatai, Dem All, The People, Way Magazine, Echo, and Plus Seven were among the media outlets that signed the petition.

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