The National Reform Steering Assembly overwhelmingly voted by 144 against one in endorsing a study report of ACM Kanit Suwannet’s social media reform panel which seeks to tighten up control on social media and on smart phone usage by requiring buyers of pre-paid SIM cards to under fingerprints and facial scanning on top of showing their ID cards.
While recognizing as a quick and important source of information for members of the public, the reform panel noted at the misuse or abuse of social media by individuals who lack understanding of media freedom on the basis of social responsibility and weak regulation of social media by those responsible.
The panel also proposed the setup of a central body to manage data of smartphone users and the requirement of foreign social media to register with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
The study report was widely debated in the parliament with the majority of the speakers voicing support for the study although there were reservations against certain measures which are deemed affecting human rights.
Kasit Bhiromya, a member of the National Reform Steering Assembly, said he doubted the recommendations of the panel would be able to tackle the use of social media.
Another assemblyman, General Lertrat Rattanavanich, said he was not sure whether there is any country which has similar measures in controlling the use of smart phones using pre-paid SIM cards.