BANGKOK, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Thai netizens have cried foul over Thai police's plan to interfere into their use of a popular chat application on mobile phone.
Criticism on Thai police have been widely seen on social network sites after the police revealed its plan on Tuesday to " inspect" individual Thai's personal communication via Line, a highly popular chat application on smartphone from Japan.
As criticism get stronger, the police has become more defensive. Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) Chief Pisit Pao-in said on Tuesday that the inspection will be done only with suspects seen as threat to national security and other offense, such as arm smuggling, and drug trafficking.
The move has seen as a preventive measure against rumours that seems to shaken stability of the government. Last week, four people, including one journalist, were summoned to the police to testify on cases related to rumours about military coup aimed to topple the current administration.
"I've noticed that more criminal offenses are being committed through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Line," Bangkok Post quoted Pisit as saying.
The TCSD Chief claimed that the company who runs Line, which has over 10 million users in Thailand, has agreed to cooperate with Thai authority. However, The Nation reported on Wednesday that the company denied receiving any request from Thai authority.
As Thai netizen' criticism grew stronger on the Internet, Information and Communication Technology Ministry (ICT) Minister Anudith Nakornthap came out to express objection to an attempt by TCSD.
Anudith stressed his disagreement with the Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) in checking people's communications on Line application, saying it would be an infringement of the individual's right to communication.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra also expressed dismay about the police's initiative, saying the government maintained its stance on privacy and freedom of expression. She added that if there are such inspection into personal communication on Line, it has to be considered case by case.
Thai Netizen Network, a network of Thai Internet users, on Tuesday evening, issued a statement condemning the TCSD for creating fear and confusion upon Thai Internet sphere.