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Foreigners to be required to use tracking SIM cards

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Online Robert

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Source Bangkok Post August 9, 2016


Foreigners to be required to use tracking SIM cards

    9 Aug 2016 at 16:13 4,284 viewed1 comments
    WRITER: KOMSAN TORTERMVASANA

Tourists take selfies at Wat Chai Wattanaram in Ayutthaya province. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission plans to track foreign visitors' movements in the country around the clock with special SIM cards. (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakun)

Telecom regulators on Tuesday approved in principle a requirement that foreign visitors to Thailand use special SIM cards in their phones that can be tracked by the authorities.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), said the resolution was in the interests of national security.

The NBTC would discuss the measure with mobile phone operators, the Customs Department and other related state agencies.

Mobile operators can preset some technical features in SIM cards to ensure that they can always locate users, who will be unable to turn off the function, he said.

From January to July this year, 19.06 million foreigners visited the country, up 12% year-on-year, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.


Offline Alfie

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The chances are high that by the end of the week, there will be a U-turn an announcement that there has been a misunderstanding and that the secretary-general of the NBTC has been transferred to administrative duties in the deep south pending his early retirement later this year.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.


Online Pompui

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And this is going to do what exactly, give them a list of tourists who were in the vicinity and could blamed for anything that happened? Any criminal with the slightest bit of common sense would either not take his phone to the scene of the crime, or if he needed one steal someone else's, pay 500 baht to a Thai to register it their name or use a sim from another country.
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Online Robert

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Source today Bangkok Post



Takorn: Tracking SIMs not for expatriate foreigners

    10 Aug 2016 at 12:37 3,001 viewed0 comments

The requirement that foreign tourists must use special SIM cards that enable tracking of their movements will not apply to expatriates living in Thailand, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said.

Telecom regulators on Tuesday approval in principle of the requirement that foreigners use the special card in their phones after a meeting on Tuesday.

The announcement  drew immediate  criticism from foreigners working or living legally in Thailand, and concerns that they would be included in the scheme.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith

Mr Takorn's later comments clarified the issue, as reported by Post Today.

The "tourist SIM" cards were intended to improve visitors' safety and help track down overstayers, he said.

"We are not limiting any rights. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has no authority to check on the location of users," he said.

"But if tourists commit wrong, or there is a court warrant, we will then forward the warrant to a mobile phone operator and seek cooperation.

"All countries do this," he said.

The use of "tourist SIM" cards would not be applied to expatriates legally residing here, Mr Takorn said.

Mr Takorn said after the meeting on Tuesday the resolution was in the interests of national security. The NBTC would discuss the measure with mobile phone operators, the Customs Department and other related state agencies.

Mobile operators can preset some technical features in SIM cards to ensure that they can always locate users, who will be unable to turn off the  function, he said.

From January to July this year, 19.06 million foreigners visited the country, up 12% year-on-year, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.


Offline Coolkorat

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Online Robert

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This is such a useless idea. It can be defeated by simply having one of these: http://www.privacycase.com/

I fully agree it is useless, just put the info here.


Online Roger

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Yes this potential measure has not been 'thought through' yet.
I really wouldn't enjoy such intrusion BUT I wouldn't do anything to try and avoid it, if it comes in. No one would learn much by tracking me !
I don't get up to a lot of interest to the State ...
This is Thailand atm.
Thanks for bringing this to attention Guys - valuable to me as I don't follow much news here. Wrongly I know. Must do better.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline happylarry

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Never seen those "privacy" cases before, but I fail to see the point of carrying the phone if it doesn't pick up a signal thereby no one can call you. So I guess these cases are just designed for those that are up to no good.
HL  ;D


Online Pompui

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Yes this potential measure has not been 'thought through' yet.
I really wouldn't enjoy such intrusion BUT I wouldn't do anything to try and avoid it, if it comes in. No one would learn much by tracking me !
I don't get up to a lot of interest to the State ...
This is Thailand atm.
Thanks for bringing this to attention Guys - valuable to me as I don't follow much news here. Wrongly I know. Must do better.
I think someone has thought it through to see how much money they would make/lose.
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